Back or Sack Benitez?

by   |   15/12/2021  48 Comments  [Jump to last]

I’m punch-drunk with managers coming and going… will this unproductive cycle stop with the next round of hiring and firing?

Under normal circumstances, Benitez would already be gone, but we are in weird times. The owner(s) have chosen him despite the majority of fans (me included) advising that it was a bad idea. Many foresaw the toxic outcomes that a poor run of form would bring – and this current run of form is beyond poor.

I wonder what a ToffeeWeb poll would now return, asking fans if they wanted him sacked? 80% in favour?

I’m genuinely torn about what to do for the best of our club; it is a very precarious situation.

Stick with Benitez? Why?

● Poor luck with injuries.
● Spent no money at all due to FFP.
● Excellent business bringing in Gray.
● Shaking the club up from within.
● Players making schoolboy mistakes week after week – not the manager’s fault.
● Run of games after Chelsea could get the club back on course, with Calvert-Lewin, Mina, and one or two new impactful signings in.
● Pre-planning for this attempted resurgence will have already been done.
● Would an achievable alternative manager improve things, half-way through a season?
● Benitez has taken on other people’s massive transfer mistakes that have been a ball and chain for his predecessors.

Alternatively, Sack Benitez now:

● Terrible results, relegation form.
● Divisive manager in the extreme, within the club and with supporters.
● Ex-Liverpool – he has ridiculed our club.
● Supporters are furious, almost mutinous.
● The style of football is so negative.
● Starting games slower than any opponents; the manager is to blame.
● Substitutions are often negative.
● Corners and set-pieces are ridiculously poor quality – training deficiencies?
● Defending at set-pieces is atrocious – again, training deficiencies.

Apologies, I have probably missed out a few too!

So what’s the conclusion? You tell me.

I want stability and the club to become strong and consistent, week-in & week-out. I want better quality football; I want to see us control a game for once, at some point in the hopefully near future.

I wanted Potter in the summer, to work under Brands, as I thought this would be a more stable solution. Mr Moshiri and Mr Usmanov have gone all-in with Benitez, and now we are at a fork in the road.

Ultimately, I think Moshiri will stay away and ride out the firestorm; we will finish a stressed 12th to 17th. He will then reassess in May 2022.

My conclusion? Do I have to give one? I think it’s going to be terrible to keep him and also extremely risky if we sack him. That risk will be determined by who it is replacing him.

I’d want someone like Potter. Young, hungry, ready to make the next progressive step, proven as a Premier League first-team manager and a reputation for playing on the front foot.

Because I think Benitez is going nowhere due to Moshiri’s and Usmanov’s continued backing… so it’s all irrelevant anyway.

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Reader Comments (48)

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 15/12/2021 at 12:34:04
A very good but sickening post, Tony, full of the pros & cons of keeping the manager in charge. My own thoughts being that I'd sooner keep Benitez, and see the back of William Kenwright, Carlo's Kaiser, but I genuinely cannot see a way forward for the belligerent Spaniard at the minute.

Iain Latchford
2 Posted 15/12/2021 at 12:52:15
If we lose to Chelsea and then Leicester, I think he will go. Surely 5 points from 12 games would see any manager off in this league.

My worry is the run-in we have (below). We need to be picking up points soon against the likes of Burnley and Newcastle. If we don't win these, we're really in trouble (if we're not already). So, as you say, it's stick with him to get us out of this hole, or pull the trigger. Tough one.

Last eight games:

West Ham Utd (a)
Man Utd (h)
Crystal Palace (h)
Liverpool (a)
Chelsea (h)
Leicester City (a)
Brentford (h)
Arsenal (a)

Lee Courtliff
3 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:00:42
We need to stick with him. I'm no fan of his, I wanted Potter, but we can't keep changing managers every season. It's ludicrous.

I honestly don't believe we'll go down, there are at least 3 teams worse than us. Give Rafa 2 or 3 seasons to try and inject some stability into the club then go from there.

Ian Horan
4 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:02:41
Last 8 games you can only see a home win against Brentford. That still leaves us to get 19 points from: Leicester (h), Villa (h), Wolves (h), Newcastle (h) & (a), Burnley (a), Palace (h), Norwich (a), Leeds (h), Watford (a), Southampton (a), Spurs (a), Brighton (h).
Barry Hesketh
5 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:03:50
The Burnley and Newcastle outcomes will decide the fate of Benitez: if Everton don't at least draw both those games and haven't won any of the other fixtures prior to those, I think he'd be unable to continue.

I suppose it is down to Moshiri what happens, but Everton need points ASAP and whether that's with Benitez or otherwise, I'm not that bothered.

Nick Page
6 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:27:53
Was Koeman really at fault that we sold Lukaku and never replaced him (still)? And then bought a load of No 10s and other shite? Should we have kept Stones?

Then we let Allardyce come in and spend £50M on more shite. Similarly with Silva, we finished the season strong and then sold Gueye and didn't push Chelsea for Zouma and now he's at West Ham, of all places.

You can't keep selling your best players, especially if you don't have a coherent transfer policy in place (this is where I blame Kenwright's meddling), and expect a new manager to pick up the pieces…fire him… and repeat.

You keep your best players and build a team around them. We haven't, or even come close, so how is Benitez all of a sudden to blame? It's all of them and a piss-poor transfer policy.

The club needs stability but it's hard-won. The worst thing we can do is start selling now and/or making more rash purchases.

Benitez doesn't want to destroy the club or other such nonsense, he's a professional. He left the shite years ago; it's a purely emotive argument with no basis in logic.

In fact, Martinez was really the wrong manager to replace Moyes as he too different. And then, after a good season he wasn't backed in the transfer market and down we slipped.

Everton, throughout their history, have made some unfathomable decisions all the way back to selling Joe Mercer (actually, leaving Anfield was the biggest). Mike Walker is another one – flash-in-the-pan manager.

There has never been a plan or strategy but, now more than ever given the money sloshing around, it's absolutely vital to build this out, and have a plan in place for the next 5 years and then every 5 years after.

Sacking Benitez won't solve this after a few months in charge.

Joe McMahon
7 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:29:02

Burnley will kick our injury ravaged squad to shreds again, and no way are we gonna out-do Leicester City and Aston Villa with our feeble uninjured starting 11. Doucouré and Gray cannot beat teams by themselves. Villa are also a different proposition now with you-know-who as manager.

Pete Clarke
8 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:56:20
What a shocking situation we find ourselves in.

I was hoping the in-fighting may see a battle between Benitez and Kenwright and, with Moshiri having brought Benitez in, then it would be the end for Bill. Benitez of course would follow him out of the door after a few more bad results. This, however, is just wishful thinking on my behalf.

The actual reality of the situation in my view is that we simply cannot run the risk of allowing Benitez to take us down because Liverpool would re-name Anfield as 'The Benitez Stadium' and we would be ridiculed every day for the rest of our days.

So, if he does not take a point from the next two games, then he simply has to be shown the door.

We should be able to take 6 to 7 points from the Burnley, Newcastle, Brighton and Norwich games even without a manager but, if we can't get a good replacement, I would give the role to Duncan Ferguson. He should relish the challenge and we will finally see if he's good enough.

If he also fails at it, then we're going down and he can leave and live with it like the rest of us... but it could also be the start of the dominoe effect with Bill and the rest of the cronies following out the door.

To think that the ‘Biggest Evertonian’ in the world was looking 24/7 for a buyer (to suit himself) and finally finds one who is so fucking dumb that he wrecks the club and our hopes in the space of 5 years. I hate that man beyond comprehension. (Bill, that is!)

John Raftery
9 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:07:42
It would be ridiculous to change the manager now. It’s players we need. Players who are fit, can run and kick a football at Premier League level.
David Bromwell
10 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:12:13
I think it will be very much in Benitez's own hands. He needs to show leadership, support and defend his players, and communicate openly with supporters.

In the derby recently, we were well beaten by a far superior team, but the players showed great commitment and this is what is required until the end of the season.

Last Sunday's performance and the manager's game plan were embarrassing. Somehow, the manager has to find a better game plan which gives all the players at his disposal a better chance of success. Be open and honest with the supporters, get the players playing with commitment, and that will be a start.

We cannot afford for the few players we have to be a odds with the manager and this situation needs to be resolved ASP.

Barry Rathbone
11 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:38:46
Benitez was a terrible appointment from a PR standpoint but earned my support by adding good players for buttons and getting long-awaited urgency into the play.

It is no secret the squad is hopeless and, when called upon by injuries, demonstrated as much. The notion he should be replaced in such circumstances is farcical.

I just can't swallow the idea a new guy can do a Jesus and cure the sick whilst turning water into wine with the rest.

If Moshiri hasn't the balls to see this out, we really are in trouble; this is management by appeasement. Loudmouthed unthinking internet loons are steering the ship – terrifying!

Jay Harris
12 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:58:15
Nick Page, Good post which I wholeheartedly agree with.

There has obviously been a problem behind the scenes for years and Rafa is trying to sort the shambles out. He has also been so unlucky with injuries and it is the time for supporters to rally around the team and manager even though we see a paucity of football.

The time to judge Benitez is when we have a fully fit squad with some new acquisitions, especially in central midfield, where we are most weak.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:05:30
I often think of Arsenal fans forcing the wrong man out of the club, Barry, and a board who were very happy to oblige. It kept the heat off themselves, even though deep down, they must have been very aware of the incredibly fantastic job Arsene Wenger had done for them over many years, considering he had the lowest net spend in the division.

I'm not comparing Benitez to Wenger (not a chance) but, even though I knew how much of a divisive appointment this was going to be, I was prepared to accept the Spaniard because I've been aware that we have some very similar people on our own board.

People who don't really care about success, just as long as it's not them who are taking the stick for our football club's continuing failures.

It's obvious Kenwright and Moshiri are now our biggest problem – the sacking of Brands personally told me this. I'm not saying I'm right but the speed in which Brands was out the door definitely looked like an act of self-preservation to me.

Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:11:32
If this man is not to be held responsible for the poor performances and league position, then he can't take the accolades of the first few games... but it does raise the question then of why the hell is he here?

His first priority must be getting the first team to perform better, or at least start getting points to improve the position and if he is incapable of so doing then we must try somebody who might before it is too late. If they won't come when we are in the Premier League,, then they certainly won't when we are in the Championship.

Adrian Evans
15 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:16:53
A lot of fans fancy a season or 17 like Leeds in the Championship. Let Benitez sort it out. He's had the players, the squad to get 27 points already.

If you can't coach, you've forgotten how to whilst in the Championship, bottom rung of the Premier League, China... ya done.

Mistakes, from the off, I've been there. Plenty of time to instil basics, coach out mistakes. Set up to win, or draw. He's had plenty of time, decent players... maybe not our stars.

It's football management. Any manager with this record expects the sack. Well paid off, no tears... just ours. We can't gamble on Rafa Benitez keeping us up.

I'd love to beat Chelsea, Leicester, Burnley, Newcastle... What an embaressment if they beat us at home, to go above us. It won't be allowed to happen, I am sure.

Nick Page
16 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:36:02
Apparently Rafa has been meeting with the bigwigs. “I was talking today with some senior players and everyone understands it is important to stick together. If you do that later on you will be stronger.

“I am confident everything will be well and we have to be sure the players are giving everything on the pitch.

“I was speaking to Mr Moshiri this morning and I've had meetings with the chairman and chief executive. They have experience changing managers and things were not working.”

What on Earth does he talk about with Boys Pen Bill and his little sidekick? What does she know? – she isn't a football person, doesn't have any coaching badges and as for him, well I thought he wasn't involved anymore? (And anyone who believes that is a simpleton.)

There are obviously far too many cooks here spoiling the broth. We need clear direction not input from self-serving halfwits.

Johan Elmgren
17 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:45:50
Sack him!

We've won 1 in 10 and lost to some really poor teams! And now after Chelsea and Leicester we have a bunch of winnable games, but what if he loses them too? Then we will really be up in Shit Creek come spring, when we have that run of the tough last 8 games! It will be too late by then.

FSW Out Now!

Conor McCourt
18 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:52:54
Tony, quite a balanced argument there but, for me, I only have a list of cons and not one pro-Benitez factor.

Let's be clear:

Had Dominic been fit and firing all season, we would be top half;
Had Benitez had Carlo's £70 million kitty, we would in all likelihood be top half.
Had Benitez been able to shape the squad as he wished with regards to ingoings and outgoings, there is every chance we would be top half.
His excuses are clear and largely incontrovertible.

However, from my perspective, there is nothing in Benitez's working, methodology, recent history, decision-making, tactical inflexibility, man-management or credit in the bank to suggest anything other his dismissal at this time. Indeed, he should never have been appointed.

The job of a manager is to manage, to get the best out of the resources available. And from this aspect, he is desperately failing.

Tony, you wanted Potter; well I could guarantee the first thing Potter would have done would have been to revert to a 5-3-2. Why? Because the squad would have dictated so.

Let's look at the squad at hand:

We have six players at the back, the majority of whom would favour playing in a back three (Godfrey or Branthwaite left, Mina or Keane centre, Holgate or Coleman right). Four of these are internationals, Holgate has been on the periphery and Branthwaite has the potential to be a future one. They all have limitations but all six are Premier League standard and Branthwaite for no apparent reason has been unable to get a kick all season despite injuries. A travesty in itself.

Digne, Nkounkou and Kenny are all suited to wingback as all have strengths going forward while none are that good defensively. Townsend isn't skillful enough now to be a winger but I believe could have done a job as a right-wingback as his strength is his crossing and he works hard defensively.

Why Benitez played Digne with a left-midfielder in front of him is madness. Why Nkonkou was allowed to leave is also madness.

We have no midfielders suited to playing in a two with the possible exception of Gbamin, though where he is at in his recovery is anyone's guess and not an option now. We have Davies, Delph and Gbamin who can play the holding role.

We have Gomes, Doucouré, Allan, Iwobi and Gordon who would all be best suited to play in the two advanced midfield roles for different reasons. Gomes for his quality, Allan for his all-round game, Doucouré so he can get into the box more and Iwobi and Gordon as they haven't enough end product to be number tens.

We have only two forwards in the squad who are good enough to play as wide men in Gray and Richarlison, so it's pretty pointless playing with wide midfielders or wingers.

We have five forwards in Calvert-Lewin, Gray, Richarlison, Rondon and Tosun who can compete for the two forward roles; if you have Digne and Townsend as wingbacks, then Rondon and Tosun can suddenly become more effective.

When I look for reasons to see why you would stay with an underperforming manager, I would look to the things he gets right. Has he improved players? Have we played well and not had the breaks? Are we developing an ideology and being naive or having teething problems in carrying it out? The answer to all is a firm No.

I can't even see a game plan in some games as to how we were intending to win. Moreover, in those we did win, like Burnley, Southampton and Arsenal, we were diabolical when following Benitez's masterplan but seemingly found our stride when abandoning the stringent Benitez tactical approach, with the shackles coming off when players were left to their own devices in facing adversity from going behind.

When we were struggling under Silva, we were still playing well in the majority of games; in his time, I could see players like Digne, Richarlison, Holgate and Davies playing some of their best football, so I could understand those not being trigger happy.

Under Ancelotti, no matter how bad we were, he had that knack of getting a result here or there, meaning that you could argue we should stay with the devil you know. Benitez... unfortunately, I don't see anything.

Robert Tressell
19 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:12:28
Connor #18,

I thought Potter and Nuno Santos were our best bets this summer because (a) they coach players delivered to them by a DoF and (b) they play 5-3-2 / 5-2-2-1 or some variant.

So I agree, the back 5 or back 3 was then the best way fix our badly assembled squad. However, Benitez's pretty inspired signings of Townsend and Gray mean that we can do 4-3-3 (or variants) or 5-2-2-1 (or variants).

Unfortunately, the chemistry in midfield and central defence doesn't look right, whoever you play. It's not a case of shuffling existing players around. We need new, better players – and better options in wide forward areas too.

Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:12:52
Like Tony above, I was all for giving the guy a chance and, with no money and bad injuries, he can make his case. However, we all knew that poison would be injected into the spine of our club once results dipped.

He may well have identified elements of disfunction in our club structure and he might be doing good things to put things right behind the scenes. The players seem to be trying their best, but the tactics leave a lot to be desired. The subs are usually attempts to rescue pear-shaped events. Reactive, and often wrong personel.

His record is so woefull that anywhere else – Southampton, Norwich, Villa, Sheffied United etc – he would have been sacked. The venom directed at him is embarrassing and bad for the players too.

He is right that we need to all pull together in a crisis but we won't with him at the helm. It's an all too-predictable scenario, made worse with the injuries.

I recall that last time Calvert-Lewin was out, it took him a month to get back to his normal self, so there is no magic wand waving any time soon.

Ferguson till January for me. Passion and togetherness and an instant uplift in morale. Then a decision on how long to continue with Duncan can be made at a later date.

What player in his right mind would want to come and play for Rafa in the current climate? A Newcastle reject? No thanks. Get him out now. Before he ruins us.

Barry Hesketh
21 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:28:25
Whatever wrongs that Benitez has done to Everton FC, he hasn't ruined us. The fact that he is at Goodison at all, signals that we were already ruined or at least on the road to ruin, prior to his arrival.

He has made some head-scratching unenforced errors, he has suffered an injury crisis that has made his job ten times more difficult than it ordinarily would have been, but ultimately the buck as always stops with him, regardless of his past allegiances or the mitigating circumstances.

He can't keep pointing to the opening months of the season as some sort of barometer of his managerial abilities, it's the here and now that is important. Some games like tomorrow's he will get a pass on due to the injuries, but other games he will have to cobble together a team that can at least try and win the encounter.

Another failing he has, is that he is now complaining about overloading his players, but he has a 25 man squad, and he hasn't fully utilised it, even by giving the odd 10 minutes to a youngster or two.

By the time the FA Cup arrives, he will either have put enough points on the board to quell the Evertonians' anguish or he will have failed to do that and will join the ever-increasing list of failed managers at Goodison.

I hope that he's still here come FA Cup 3rd Round day, but only if Everton has put a relatively significant number of points on the board added to what we have at the moment.

Robert Williams
22 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:44:50
Stop, please stop this inane topic. It's doing my effin head in!!

Going over and over the same old, same old will not get us anywhere. Let the people who are running the club make the decisions.

No, I don't like any of it one bit. But harping on about the same thing will get us nowhere.

Barry Hesketh
23 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:53:08
Robert @22 – What would you have TW do? Blank pages?

I think all posters realise that they have no influence whatsoever on what happens at Everton Football Club, but they do have opinions and they like to express and share their thoughts with fellow Evertonians.

It does get tiresome when, regardless of the actors involved, we all have to go over the same old ground over and over. Until and unless Everton's fortunes change in the future, we are stuck with discussing these topics.

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:56:38
Tony's last paragraph says it all. Benitez is going nowhere. Moshiri & Usmanov are unlikely to make a panic change, and there's nobody out there who'd be interested in the job and would be likely to make things any better.
Brent Stephens
25 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:59:57
Everton surely aren't going to, one week, "sack" Brands and ditch the DoF model in favour of putting control in the hands of Rafa, only to ditch Rafa after the next match if that goes breasts-up.
Robert Williams
26 Posted 15/12/2021 at 17:04:32
Barry 23,

What would we have TW do?

We could always talk about my Aunt Fanny, a massive Evertonian, who when she used to go the game would stuff her money in her nickers.

Have you heard it before?

Dale Rose
27 Posted 15/12/2021 at 17:05:56
All of this isn't down to Benetiz. The players with few exceptions are responsible. This a technically poor side, lacking confidence. It is also a side racked with injury. With a full squad this thread would not be needed. In this current situation the squad need to get back to footballing basics.
Robert Tressell
28 Posted 15/12/2021 at 17:07:06
Brent - 'breasts-up' made me laugh. Very Alan Partridge. Whoever invented the skip, hopefully we can chuck half the first team squad in it.
David Midgley
29 Posted 15/12/2021 at 17:22:56
Brent #25.

'breasts-up' ... We're just too nice. Both on and off the pitch.

Raymond Fox
30 Posted 15/12/2021 at 17:40:28
To be honest, I've had enough of supporting the club, nothing seems to improve, year after year.

Talk of changing the manager again is real desperation stuff. We have had plenty, I've lost count of how many, well-respected managers who do well when they have quality players to choose from; all have failed here.

It's obvious where the problem lies.

Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 15/12/2021 at 19:08:37
Many of knew in the summer that if and when results went south, it could go toxic early. And it has.

Not the horse I backed, but the one we have. But equally, I personally don't think a change of manager (yet again) changes much. That's not where the change is needed and we can't keep repeating that course of action as it let's those making the mistakes off the hook.

I won't repeat myself on who and what I wanted in the summer, or many summers ago times many. He's now 35 miles down the East Lancs about to start his next building project. We should have got him years ago before he was known to the English game and German coaches became trendy. They are trendy and in top positions with reason; they're good.

On Potter. Not for me just yet. I'd still like to wait and see how he develops. From his perspective, he should choose his next move carefully and I don't think a toxic Everton is the right one for him at this point. We'd potentially turn him into the next Mike Walker right now in my opinion.

So back to Tony Everan's very balanced article. I'm more stick than twist, purely on the basis that we just can't keep doing this. Certainly not every 3 - 4 months.

Adam Carey
32 Posted 15/12/2021 at 23:13:30
I can't agree with any of the Benitez apologists here. We have been woeful all season (and you could argue pre-season was a disaster as well). We have been out-played by every opposition team this season which includes Norwich and Burnley.

Our wins have come from positive 20- to 30-minute spells within games, not us dominating anyone. Not once this season have we taken the game by the scruff of the neck from kick-off, and that is not down to injuries.

Inferior squads (Norwich, Brentford, Palace and Burnley), have made us look amateurish. It's almost like watching a Premier League team play League One in a Cup game. We chase shadows.

Liverpool could have been 4-up in 20 minutes and Palace 3-up in the same time. The Chelsea lad is good but not that good. We made him look like Messi.

I'm not cheering Martinez but he took a decent team and trained them to out-pass superior opponents. That fell apart when we didn't have Lukaku, but we still played from the back and our average midfield pissed over other teams.

Benitez has us playing a negative defensive game. Our pressing is half-arsed, and we rely on Gray, Doucouré, Townsend and Richarlison to snatch chances from counter attacks.

It doesn't really matter whether we wanted Benitez or not, whether Brands was useless or shackled. We are playing relegation football and I have now gotten to the point where I don't expect anything from our games. The last time that happened we got a lucky 3-2 win over Wimbledon on the last day. Our current manager won't inspire that kind of reaction

Barry Hesketh
33 Posted 16/12/2021 at 00:36:12
Ed Bottomley is willing for something (anything) to happen in his article on Grand Old Team.

Where do we go from here

Ed Prytherch
34 Posted 16/12/2021 at 01:11:36
If we lose the next two games, then fire his arse and have Duncan in charge for a few games which buys time to decide who has the best chance of rescuing this season.

If we beat either Chelsea or Leicester, then give him a stay of execution.

Mike Corcoran
35 Posted 16/12/2021 at 02:04:18
At the start of Mike Walker's reign, I was working in a bar in Leipzig. Chatting to an East German, he told me that before the wall came down they would drive to the border and look over dreaming of what it was like on the other side... but now he couldn't even afford the petrol to get there.

That is us now…

Kieran Kinsella
36 Posted 16/12/2021 at 02:11:33

If he drove to the border and looked over but couldn't afford the petrol to get there then how did he get there? Did he steal the petrol? Or the car? Or both? Are you saying we are communists?

I get your point but your East German mates story had huge holes. Most likely he was in the Stasi and coming up with half baked stories to pretend he wasn't a communist. #StasiOut

Brian Murray
37 Posted 16/12/2021 at 02:44:51
Kieran. Elton John even sang a song about it. And if there comes a time , that Bill and Bull no longer holds you in, just look toward the street and find a friend. (Slight adaptation of Nikitah)
Mick O'Malley
38 Posted 16/12/2021 at 04:24:09
He has to go now, what evidence is there that he can improve us? He is divisive, stubborn and I honestly can't believe that any Everton fan wants him here.

We haven't dominated one match this season, just little spells here and there. He is falling out with players, causing unrest among the fans...

And as for the football, this is the way the man plays, we are conceding goals galore and getting beaten up by inferior teams.

He has to go, a truly terrible appointment. Benitez Out!

Peter Neilson
39 Posted 16/12/2021 at 07:34:40
There is no evidence that Benitez will improve us. From this point on, it's blind faith. If we're still under 20 points after playing Newcastle, it wouldn't surprise me that he's gone.

Moshiri no more planned for putting all football powers in Benitez's hands than he did anything else. If this was the plan, then Brands would have been gone as soon as Benitez joined.

There is no plan, it's like a kid with an ant farm.

Tony Everan
40 Posted 16/12/2021 at 07:46:30
Danny 31, It's becoming harder and harder to stick rather than twist. After tonight's match this position will be harder again. No win against Leicester and we may as well put a blindfold on and tie ourselves to a post.

However, I am coming down on the same side of the fence as you, as I am asking myself, would Potter still be here if he was appointed manager in the summer? With other people's transfer mistakes, core player injuries, record signing and important source of goals on police bail, aging players like Coleman criminally unreplaced (for him and us), no money made available to spend because of FFP.

Would Tuchel, Pep, Klopp, be flying much higher with all these issues or would they be ready for the firing squad too?

What is making me stick and not twist just yet more than anything is that Rafael Benitez is not a golf course manager like some. He comes across like he cares, and that he is straining every sinew to try to solve our problems. Given two, maybe three signings of first team standard approaching Demarai Gray's level in January will see him improve us.

Also, the repeated statements that he only wants players ‘'who want to play for Everton” at the club is a crucial culture to nurture for unity of purpose. He is possibly falling out with one or two players who would prefer to be elsewhere.

Jarrad Branthwaite gave an insight in his interview last week about Benitez helping him with his game after training. Giving him advice on his movement and focus on being strong with his right foot too, trying to make him a more complete player. This caring and devotion of time and effort into improving players who want to be here means something to me. It shows he is not just going through the motions then disappearing, he is investing time, thought and effort into making us stronger long term.

He's planting and feeding the roots but all we can see now is a pruned twig.

It makes me stop and think that firing Benitez could be a wrong and self-harming decision, even if there are currently many fully justified reasons to do so.

Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 16/12/2021 at 09:08:40
Good post, Tony Evran.

That's where I am at the moment. I tried to avoid the name, but clearly Benitez is in the chair. It's the principle of yet another managerial change that I am wary of, regardless of who it is, was or could have been. Especially now as we have gone back to the traditional manager model as it just means starting all over again. That said, we totally bolloxed up the DoF experiment anyway!!

As I've said elsewhere, let's do business in the transfer window and get through the season. I believe we can, it's just going to be a bumpy ride.

The transfer window will be interesting. There will be outgoings; some through necessity to allow incomings, others probably being shifted because they've not bought into the manager's way of doing things. Whichever side of the stick-or-twist conundrum we're on, Benitez holds power and influence. For now anyway.

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 16/12/2021 at 09:59:13
A very good balanced post, Tony.

I'm sticking with Mr.Benitez, he's made mistakes that have cost us some valuable points, not as many as the poor players, Benitez has had to work with.

That is the main reason we are where we are at the moment: years of poor appointments of managers who joined Kenwright, Walsh, Brands... and Mr Moshiri who made ridiculous and unbelievable signings over the last 6 years... and Mr Benitez was supposed to clear the mess up in 5 months.

This was a very difficult job to come into, hasn't been made any easier by injuries and suspensions which have increased the pressure, along with very poor results, on the manager: that is whyI am sticking with him and the longer he is here the more we will see some of these very mediocre players being moved on and stronger mentally and physically players coming in.

You've got my vote Rafa, I hope you can turn it round, slightly, in the coming days then start moving upwards in January with three or four players of your own choosing. Best of luck, and yes, I know – he will need it.

Brian Harrison
43 Posted 16/12/2021 at 10:17:34
I think irrespective of the views of the majority of Evertonians, Moshiri/Usmanov will keep him and back him in the Jan window with whatever funds they are allowed to spend.

I didnt want him anywhere near our club and still don't, and has nothing to do with him managing our neighbours. This is a man who has been very divisive in every club he has been with, its in his DNA. He always singles out certain players to have a falling out with, at Chelsea it was John Terry at Liverpool it was Alonso and here its Digne and maybe a couple of others. When you watch the very best managers they all have an empathy with their players, yes they will hand out bollockings, but they will also put an arm round a player who is struggling and show some feelings, this man seems impervious to that. Even when successful his style of play hasnt ever been good to watch.

Seems this man is only happy when he creates division inside a club, why on earth would you do that within weeks of starting at a new club. The DOF has gone the sports science guy has gone has have 2 or 3 scouts. He has said that the atmosphere is better amongst the group than last year, I guess that one is right out of the Boris Johnson top lies book. I don't believe this club can move on with him at the helm he just divides the fans, the players and the rest of the club. Still amazed the tea lady is still in her job but give him time.

Joe McMahon
45 Posted 16/12/2021 at 10:50:08
Tony @40, good post.

The manager will also need the fans backing over the Christmas congestion with a tiny very limited squad to get to the January window.

The club could also do with all transfer business sorted early January rather than last-minute on the last day.

Can we recall the loaned players we need back desperately?

Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 16/12/2021 at 11:05:40
Very good post again, Tony.

Although, if we lose the next two, Moshiri is going to have balls of steel to keep Benitez.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 16/12/2021 at 11:14:56
Equally balanced post, Dave Abrahams @42, and very good summary.

Brian Harrison, the Tea Lady will be on the radar. She will get an ultimatum. She will be told she needs to re-role to being a Cafe Espresso Lady or she's gone.

Jerome Shields
48 Posted 17/12/2021 at 19:02:19
Back Benitez and Save Everton. Another manager means a continuation of a cycle of mediocrity and poor performance.

We need a manager who is prepared to take a stand and insist on necessary change on the football side. Benitez has done that.

Ben Howard
49 Posted 19/12/2021 at 18:47:06
Back, sack and crack for Mr Benitez!

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