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Everton boss Rafa Benitez ‘difficult’ and a ‘poor man-manager’ says ex-Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant who claims Steven Gerrard was ‘player-manager’ of Reds team

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Jermaine Pennant says he didn’t get on with the stand-offish coach, claiming he had terrible man-management skills and that captain Steven Gerrard was practically ‘player-manager’ of their Reds side.

Everton have been warned they could ‘stagnate’ under Rafael Benitez, with one of his old Liverpool players revealing how he and a number of his teammates struggled under the Spaniard.

Everton’s preparations for their first season of the Benitez era have begun, with a pre-season trip to the United States later this month, before their final warm-up game against Manchester United at Old Trafford, with a Premier League opener to come at home to Southgampton on August 14.

“Look, it’s different for every player, different players will react differently with Rafa,” the former winger said on the talkSPORT Breakfast.

“With the signings he’s made, again they’re free transfers and they’re not going to light the team up and take them to the next step.

Pennant worked under Benitez for all three years of his career at Anfield, where he was part of the team that reached the 2006/07 Champions League final, only to lose to Milan.

“Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have also made this publicly known as well, that they felt it was difficult.
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