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Jermaine Pennant tears into new Everton boss Rafa Benitez and backs the club to be 'stagnant'

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Former Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant has delivered a scathing assessment of Rafa Benitez's management style, accusing him of failing to deal with his players well and insisting Steven Gerrard effectively acted as 'player-manager'.

Benitez was unveiled as the new Everton boss in controversial fashion earlier this month, with supporters critical of the surprising decision considering his successful spell coaching at Anfield between 2004 and 2010.And now, Pennant has cast further doubt over the appointment by reflecting back on his time working under Benitez and revealing the distant nature of their relationship.

'Look, it's different for every player, different players will react differently with Rafa,' Pennant said on talkSPORT. 'But in my eyes he wasn't a great man-manager.

Pennant, now aged 38, spent three seasons with Benitez at Liverpool, and was part of the team that reached the Champions League final in the 2006-07 campaign.

After his arrival was met with the wave of scrutiny, Everton will look to quickly kick on under Benitez.

Pennant has tipped the former Napoli and Newcastle coach to struggle to repair his reputation and earn success during his return to Merseyside, and says the club will be 'stagnant' under his leadership.

'I just feel he's going to be a little bit stagnant at Everton.

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