First Interview With New Everton Coaches

Assistant Manager Francisco de Miguel Moreno says Rafa Benitez and his staff are determined to recreate their “amazing winning feeling” with Everton and the Club's "fantastic supporters".

De Miguel, known as 'Paco', and Antonio Gomez, the Club’s First Team Coach and Senior Analyst, were the first two additions to Benitez’s support team after the manager was appointed in June.

The trio have claimed multiple honours together and are now charged with delivering success to Goodison Park.

And Spaniard De Miguel insists the potential and ambition of Everton led to a very easy decision when Benitez asked his compatriot to extend the two men's 14-year working relationship. 

“When Rafa called and said, ‘Paco, we have this chance, what do you think about it?’, I said, ‘Rafa, no doubt’,” De Miguel told evertontv.

“Why? Because I think Everton is a club that potentially can do very good things.

“We [Benitez and long-standing colleagues] have won trophies in different teams and different countries and that feeling is amazing.

“We want the feeling back and we think with Everton we can do it.

“We saw the potential.

“There is a massive city behind the Club, the supporters are fantastic, passionate supporters.

“We have to be focused, transmit our ideas to the guys and if all of us give our best, I am sure we can get it [silverware].

“It is a challenge for us when we come to a different team because it is very difficult to know the players quickly.

Paco de Miguel
We have won trophies in different teams and different countries and that feeling is amazing. We want the feeling back and we think with Everton we can do it.

“We now have a better idea of which point the players are at. We want to be sure we can start the Premier League in a good manner and arrive in the best condition possible.”

Gomez, a member of Benitez’s youth team at Real Madrid, maintains his boss “improves players every day”.

The two new staff members are fundamental cogs in that improvement process, with Benitez’s right-hand man De Miguel stitching together the different elements of Everton’s performance department.

“My role is a bit different from the one usually for an assistant manager… I am in charge of the methodology and putting the big picture together,” continued De Miguel.

“I know what Rafa wants because we have been working so many years together.

“I am focused on performance – and when we are talking about performance, we are talking not just the fitness.

“We try to analyse everything during the day… and ensure every player has what he needs every day: in terms of fitness and technical and tactical information.

“Sometimes, people think performance is to cover certain metres or the intensity during the game.

“For us, it is much more than that.

“It is to be very clear on every player’s profile, in which areas he can improve as an individual and improve the team.

“You need to know in which areas you are weak and strong and try to improve in the gaps we have already found for all of them.

“Performance for us is to be able to do on the pitch all the skills you have and do them in the best way possible.

“We have a picture of each player regarding fitness and technical and tactical skill.

“And we now know, more or less, in which areas they should improve.”

Gomez progressed through Real Madrid’s academy to play six times for the first team and score twice.

He represented a number of clubs in Spain ahead of a switch to coaching and was first hired by Benitez at Liverpool in 2009/10.

The former midfielder subsequently managed Valladolid and Albacete before reuniting with Benitez at Napoli and remaining part of the boss’ trusted group at Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Dalian Professional.

Gomez recalls “the intensity in training sessions and [Benitez] correcting players every day” from his time as a player.

“And it is the same now,” Gomez told evertontv.

“He is the same – but with more experience. And he analyses opponents’ tactics more.

“He is good for the players because they improve every day with him.

“My job is to help in organising the sessions every day with Paco and the rest of the staff.

“I analyse the training sessions every day and we use videos to improve this team and control the opponent."

De Miguel initially joined Benitez at Liverpool in 2007 and subsequently worked with his boss at Chelsea and Newcastle United and in Italy and Spain and China.

He was originally a very good middle-distance runner and acquired a physical education degree, the same university qualification obtained by Benitez.

Plans for a military career were altered when De Miguel was persuaded to channel a strong athletic knowhow into his studies and professional life.

He worked at Madrid’s National Institute of Physical Education before transferring his skills to football at a handful of clubs prior to linking up with Benitez.

“It is very easy to work with Rafa… it is easy for me to explain things [related to players' conditioning] because he understands clearly,” said De Miguel.

“He leaves us to do things our way and knows everything we do is in the way he likes.

“It is always a challenge with him.

“He works 24/7 for this.

“Rafa is a very passionate manager, he transmits this every day, every minute, to us.

“We can’t have a normal chat, having dinner or lunch, we always talk about football.

“We have learned from him and see football in the way he likes.

“He is not the same person I met, that is not possible, you change.

“I like more the Rafa I know right now.

“I have the feeling he has been growing with the years… developing all the ideas.”

Everton begin the Premier League campaign against Southampton, with one more pre-season friendly before the kick-off on 14 August.

A game at Manchester United on Saturday will complete the warm-up fixtures after successive victories on last month's week-long training camp in Florida.

That trip Stateside allowed De Miguel and Gomez a concerted period with their new players after joining when pre-season was under way.

Gomez added: “I am very happy to be at Everton Football club and am getting to know the people and their roles.

“The atmosphere is fantastic inside the group.

“The players are working very hard every day and the staff always help me.

“I am very pleased to get back to England and have this opportunity to work for Everton.”