The Maniac Must Be Stopped – Sack Benitez Now!

by   |   13/01/2022  193 Comments  [Jump to last]

When Rafael Benitez took the Everton job, I felt sure he would try to steady the ship, unite everyone at the club, and show Evertonians he could be trusted. And yet he has done the opposite. His behaviour and team tactics have been nothing short of horrendous.

He said he would improve the players at the club. This he has failed to do. If anything, most have performed even worse than last season. But, far from uniting the club and winning over the doubters, he has taken a sledgehammer to the very foundations of the club, pointing the finger at anyone but himself.

After a brief set of good results, we have gone on the worst run ever with no sign of improvement. Benitez first blamed the injuries but the injuries did not cause such a dramatic drop in form. It was his tactics and the way he handled the injuries.

As the bad run continued, the finger was pointed at Brands with Moshiri happy to oblige with his sacking. The defeats kept on coming and it was the club medical officer who was to blame.

As the defeats got worse, our French international was singled out, and now he has gone. But the main problem, the awful tactics, continue with no sign of it changing.

Right under the noses of Kenwright & Co, Benitez is dismantling the club, while ensuring we keep losing, picking formations that condemn us to a bad start in every game.

Is he going to stop there? I doubt it. Who is going to be next for the axe? Rumours are rife that there are other unsettled players and Allan must not be allowed to leave at such an important time in the season.

The big fear is that Benitez's awful tactics will see us lose to Norwich and the other struggling teams and that will be it. There is nothing to indicate that can't happen.

Benitez has destroyed any understanding or confidence in defence with his constant changes. And changing to a back 5 or 3 (depending on how you see it), instead of strengthening the midfield, has made the defence even worse.

Benitez has to be sacked because he is destroying the club in every way and one league win in 12 is all that Moshiri needs to know. If we get beaten by Norwich, it is a must that he is gone.

Kenwright needs to stand up and be counted and show he is a true Evertonian. Unfortunately for Sharp, his first move as a director must be to say Benitez has to be sacked. After all the years of terrible management, to put Evertonians through this torture is unforgiveable.

We can get out of this trouble with a bit of management common sense. A settled defence, a more positive outlook and the acquisition of a mobile ball winner for the midfield. But something must be done now.

Everton fans deserve so much better than a character like Benitez who has already shown he is nowhere near good enough for the Everton job and must be shown the door ASAP.

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Reader Comments (193)

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Dave Ganley
1 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:37:09
Kenwright is culpable in this mess. If kenwright is such an Evertonian, why did he employ a relegated manager after Moyes left? Why did he not do homework on what Martinez would or rather not bring? He appointed a shyster and the rot has just continued to this day and look where we are now.

If kenwright is such an evertonian why didn't he go in the dressing room after any one of several humiliations by the hand of the RS and say this never happens again! Where is he then? Doing fuck all as per usual, counting his cash and passing the buck to someone else.

Sorry Jim, its not that I disagree with your sentiment I do but Benitez isn't the cause of this mess, he's only a symptom. Kenwright and Moshiri are the real virus here. Get those 2 meddlers out of the club and we just may start to move forward. Easier said than done I know but between them, they are most responsible for this shameful situation

Jim Wilson
2 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:43:01
Totally agree with you Dave. What a mess
Paul Hewitt
3 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:44:13
This club has been going down hill for years. How people can blame Benitez totally amazes me. Get off his back and actually support him, he looks like he is trying to get rid of the dross and bring in young hungry players. First manager too do the in years.
Dennis Stevens
4 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:47:32
Aye, a taxi for all three wouldn't be unreasonable - Moshiri picking up the tab, of course!

Tbh, though, none of them are going anywhere :-(

Conor McCourt
5 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:55:03
Feck off Dennis- if Moshiri is paying for the taxi the thing will be clamped out and we will be stuck with all three til the end of their contracts
Martin Mason
6 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:55:16
Benitez was partly successful in the era when chancers and incompetents could succeed. We are in the professional era now though and he is out of his depth. We have to get him out of our club along with Kenwright.
Dennis Stevens
7 Posted 13/01/2022 at 20:58:22
Well, if he ain't paying then neither of the other two will, Conor. We may need to have a whip round!

Alan McGuffog
8 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:04:55
OK Jim...he is sacked tomorrow. Question one..who would you like to replace him ?
Question two...who do you think, realistically, would replace him ?
Tony Hill
9 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:08:18
I think he will come through this and that we will have cause to be grateful. Good players are coming back and being introduced. Let's see what the second half of the season brings.
Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:09:08
Alan #8, you may wait a long time for a reply to that second question. I've been asking it of the fire-Rafa folks for a couple of months now.
Darren Hind
11 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:12:27
The Crosby taxi drivers will be falling over each other if they know Moshiri is footing the bill.

The meter will start running at around 8k...and they'll want compo if they take him to the wrong place

Oliver Molloy
12 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:13:45
Calm down, Calm down...Gordon has improved - right ?
Ian Bennett
13 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:15:09
If we lose at the weekend, Rafa will be gone & Ferguson will be in. I don't think there is an alternative tbh.
Paul Hewitt
14 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:16:56
This time next year we will all be wondering what all the fuss was about, when we're challenging top 6.
Jim Wilson
15 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:35:46
Bloody hell - We are in a mess because Mike Gaynes reckons there is no manager who will want to come to Everton who can do better than RB's record of 1 win in 12 League games and Alan McGuffog can't think of anyone.
Can anyone help please?!
Rob Halligan
16 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:46:12
Jim, I'll do it. I'll play four at the back, three midfielders, and put forwards who are on the bench on if we are getting beat. I will sell Rondon and Iwobi. Will need some time though to decide on the players required for said formation.
Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:46:23
Jim (15), well you started this thread with your outpouring against Mr. Benitez surely you must have had someone in mind to replace him.
Darren Hind
18 Posted 13/01/2022 at 21:54:25
Duncan Ferguson
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:04:25
If Bill Kenwright was a true Evertonian?

Bill Kenwright = managed decline.

Jim Wilson
20 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:10:59
I agree Darren
Chris Corn
21 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:14:51
I want Dave Ganley as the fan representative on the board. No bullshit and right on the money.

Martin Mason, what you are talking about with regards to Benitez achievements, I truly do not know. The Championship aside in 2017, he won silverware 7 years ago with Napoli.

Stephen Vincent
22 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:30:47
Paul Hewitt # 14 unfortunately it will be top 6 of the championship unless someone puts a stop to this insanity.
Stephen Vincent
23 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:35:09
Dave#1, If Kenwright was, as is rumoured, so against the appointment of benitez why didn't he resign.

Spot in with all the other 'if Kenwrights'.

Andrew Keatley
24 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:41:09
Dave (1) - “If kenwright is such an evertonian why didn't he go in the dressing room after any one of several humiliations by the hand of the RS and say this never happens again!”

Because this is Everton FC, not the Bridlington Bulldogs Under 8s.

Pete Clarke
25 Posted 13/01/2022 at 22:49:55
Benitez was wrong for Everton, no matter which way you look at it. Probably even worse than Allardyce.

I've said it many times on other threads but this could be the guy who won Liverpool the Champions League and put Everton in the Championship. Just let that sink in for a moment and think about our beloved redneck neighbours who will duly Knight the prick and have it printed on their stadium, banners and scarves for eternity.

I don't blame Benitez for it but rather the lack of action being taken to get him, Kenwright and Moshiri (as well as a host of others) out of our club.

But hey, let's not worry because, if we beat the mighty Canaries, then all will be forgotten. We are truly a dinosaur of a club run by cavemen.

Oliver Molloy
26 Posted 13/01/2022 at 23:02:31
Norwich, like us haven't won in donkeys and leaking even more goals than us!
I can see "murphys law" scenario here.
They win with a Godfey og - nah
couldn't happen, could it !
Frank Wolfe
27 Posted 14/01/2022 at 02:09:15
Yeah, it's all Rafa's fault. Inherited the squad at the last minute. Basically, no transfer budget. Had to offload players to reduce the wage bill. Only no 10 we have is unavailable. On top of that, injuries to key players esp DCL. Not saying all his decisions have been right but I genuinely think he is being as pragmatic as he can be. Bringing in younger players and not generally panic buying (ok except for Rondon) as he knows he can offload more players in the summer. Basically, I think he is taking a long term view. No way he should be sacked now. Needs to be given the benefit of time. We can't keep turning over managers with no progress.
Steve Brown
28 Posted 14/01/2022 at 04:41:48
Results and performance will decide his fate.

Three options:

a) Keep him in role until the end of the season and focus on the search for a new DoF who will advise the board in the summer.
b) Sack him now and appoint Duncan to manage the club until the summer when a new DoF can advise the board.(offer Ferguson the job permanently or conduct an external manager search).
c) Sack him now and conduct an external manager search.

My vote is b) but I think it will a).

If option c) is chosen and we face that impossibly difficult task of hiring a new manager mid-season (the ONLY fallback excuse that Rafa supporters can muster now after 2 wins in 12 league games), I suggest that Moshiri consult the six chairman who have miraculously managed to pull of this feat this season.

Jay Harris
29 Posted 14/01/2022 at 04:42:47
The only truly sensible rational post in this emotion filled rant against our current manager.

If that amount of hate was aimed at me I would just walk and say you supporters get what you deserve.

Evertonians used to be amongst the most knowledgable supporters out there but the frustration of the "Kenwright" years with all the lies and deceitseems to have created a hateful, spiteful beast out of some of Goodison's faithful.

After a really good start WE have had an abnormal amount of injury to key players and VAR and officials regualrly and unfairly giving against us costing us a serious loss of points and confidence.

None of this was Benitez fault and the same people who are criticising him for eking out the rot are the same ones who have complained about the squad for years.

FFS give the man a chance. Once we have a steady upward trajectory then take stock of who could be the next man..

Its harder than you think competing in the Prem especially if the supporters are not right behind you.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 14/01/2022 at 08:03:10
Another thing has just hit me reading that Jay. If Benitez goes now and the next manager doesn’t do any better (although id expect anyone to do better now the squad is fit) who would the fans turn their anger on next?

I told you that you shouldn’t have appointed him Farhad, they’ll be turning on us next said Kenwright, nah Bill don’t worry, I was ahead of the game (for once), and that’s why I appointed him last summer.

Niall McIlhone
31 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:21:40
What Jay(#29) and Tony(#30) said: I'm sorry Jim, I think we can all share your frustration, but, for the life of me, I cannot see any logic in sacking the manager now? Just look at Newcastle and Watford-both panicked, how has that worked out?
It appears we will have a near full strength team available tomorrow at Norwich. Win that, and the chance to see how we can set up for the very tricky Villa game.
Get behind the manager, he has been served an absolute smorgasbord of crap to work with. Evaluate again as we go in to February with a fit squad, that's my view.
Peter Mills
32 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:35:32
As Sr Benitez might say: “We have taken 6 points from the last 12 league games - fact”.

Whatever his long term plans are, he needs to start producing some short term results. Pronto.

Peter Neilson
33 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:40:05
This was published at the start of December. Interesting article, particularly about how predictable we are and over reliance on individuals.

Mick O'Malley
34 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:43:30
Paul Hewitt @3 How anyone can support a failing kopite in charge of Everton is beyond me, I’ll never get off his back til he is gone, without doubt the worst managerial appointment in my 50 years of support. Benitez out now! And can we stop with the who would you appoint to the fans, the fans don’t pick the manager but we can help getting one sacked, I am absolutely flabbergasted that any Everton fan wants this horrible dickhead in charge.
Johan Elmgren
35 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:45:42
With you all the way Jim.

It's clearly not working, why persist with someone who's not working? I don't want to change managers every now and then either, but if it's not working you have to pull the trigger.

1 win 3 draws 8 losses in the last 12. Which other club would keep their manager after such a barren run? I don't see many, especially not those who aim to be in the top of the league.

Steve #28. I'm with you. I'd like option B as well. Dunc until the summer, then find a progressive manager like Potter or Ten Hag. Steve Cooper of Nottingham F also looks interesting... there are plenty of up-and-coming managers out there, who'd want to manage us, so that argument of "who would replace him" is not really holding up.

It was never going to work, the appointment was doomed to fail from the off. The resulting animosity now shown towards him was plain to see, in fact, I'm surprised it has taken this long for it to turn so ugly. I though it would've happened sooner, considering his red background and snide "small-club"-jibe.

No, sack him now, and follow Steve's option B.

FSW out now!!

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:54:28
Not sure I thought he'd unite everyone and it was always going to go toxic early. In addition to his obvious background, he's a notorious disrupter. I get the sentiment that it is needed, but not sure the sledgehammer approach is right. More a steady and considered approach to dismantling and rebuilding from the bottom up.

I know who I wanted to do that, but he's now 30 miles or so down the East Lancs Road. That said, he's moving into a consultancy role after this season. Total waste; make a cheeky move Everton. He's taken clubs from what we would call non-league to being established Bundesliga and European clubs. So not afraid to take on a challenge. We should have got him when Moyes left, or at least when Moshiri arrived.

Forget the names; the managers are not the root cause of this. Let's be honest, the malaise has existed since we last won the league and failed to build on that regardless of the injustice imposed on us. Keep blaming and changing managers and we won't change anything other than give us brief moments of optimism and short-term wins.

The problem lies higher up the food chain.

Let's start again tomorrow. El Ghazi debut goal to seal it.

Brian Harrison
37 Posted 14/01/2022 at 09:57:30
While he may not be the answer long term and seeing that the fanbase is so divided, and seems like some of the players aren't buying into his tactics, I think the only appointment that would immediately get most back on side would be to appoint Duncan Ferguson as interim manager.

I desperately wanted Christophe Galtier in the summer, but don't think we ever spoke to him. He won the league with Lille beating money bags PSG and moved in the summer were is new club is also now 2nd in the league.

Andrew Ellams
38 Posted 14/01/2022 at 10:16:48
Please not Duncan Ferguson. He had four games last time, he only won one and by the end of the fourth one against Arsenal the players were run into the ground.

It won't end well and will probably finish with him getting the sack too. Remember when Shearer was brought in as an interim to save Newcastle and they went down?

Joe McMahon
39 Posted 14/01/2022 at 10:19:53
The mention of Ferguson again. Lifting ball boys only goes so far, it can't last a season. His 4 games brought one win, if he is to manage anyone, like Unsworth they need to try elsewhere first. Like countless other ex players from other clubs do.

I feel the opportunity missed was Patrick Viera.

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 14/01/2022 at 10:47:36
Frank (27), nice quiet sensible post, I’m reading it and taking it in as well as agreeing with it, I don’t think many other fans are, might be worthwhile looking back on your post in late February.
Ray Roche
41 Posted 14/01/2022 at 11:09:07
Frank @27

I wasn’t in favour of Benitez’s appointment but always thought that, he’s here, get behind him, even though he’s making it difficult with team selection and head scratching substitutions!
But you coming on here spouting common sense and taking a rational viewpoint will get you banned.

Good thoughtful post.👍🏻

Kevin Prytherch
42 Posted 14/01/2022 at 11:30:52
Peter 33 - that is definitely worth a read and does not paint Benitez in a favourable light at all. I’d urge anyone to scroll back to post 33 and have a look at the article. Is Benitez really that much of a football dinosaur that his teams are that easy to work out?
Robert Tressell
43 Posted 14/01/2022 at 11:58:34
Kevin, I'll try to read the article. What I would say though is that Benitez has more or less delivered in accordance with the quality of the squad at his disposal this season. It was a 10th & 12th placed squad, deteriorating in value and then injury hit.

His tactics may or may not be flawed. But the same is true for younger progressive managers like Silva.

The recurring issue is one of squad quality and squad depth.

That's why the top 4 generally comprise the 4 richest clubs - and the bottom 3 the poorest.

If you can outperform the value / quality of your squad as a manager (as Moyes so far this season) you're doing really well

John Raftery
44 Posted 14/01/2022 at 11:59:00
Sacking a manager in the middle of a transfer window in which the club is investing in several new players makes no sense at all.

It is salutary to note what is happening at other clubs which have changed their manager this season; Conte at Spurs, Rangnick at Manchester United, Gerrard at Villa, Howe at Newcastle. What do they all have in common? They have all said they need to sign new players to improve their squads. That is what Benitez is trying to do at Everton. It is what any manager would do after arriving at a club which was in sharp decline in the final months of last season and heavily dependent on a few core players staying fit.

Without the signings of Gray and Townsend we really would be in trouble this season. Benitez should be given the chance to revamp the squad before being judged on the results and performances of his players.

Steve Brown
45 Posted 14/01/2022 at 11:59:08
Here Peter's @ 33 link, very interesting.


Peter Neilson
46 Posted 14/01/2022 at 12:15:03
Thanks for creating the link correctly Steve. One day I will do it correctly.
Phillip Warrington
47 Posted 14/01/2022 at 12:35:07
He should have pretty much a full squad with the 3 players brought in so far. If we cant beat Norwich (who will be up for it and they would see Everton as a 50/50) and go on a run, then there's just no way he should still be in charge.

But I can't help the feeling that he is really turning us into a small-time club. He has failed in his bullshit: we haven't seen a 10% improvement in players so far.

More than ever, we have no style of football, the football we do play is of poor quality, and the players don’t seem to have any understanding of their roles within the team. It's like watching a team of mixed strangers playing for the first time together every week.

Michael Williams
48 Posted 14/01/2022 at 12:36:44
The post lost me at the first sentence when you wrote you thought Rafa would unite everyone. Clearly that was not going to happen.
Andrew Bentley
49 Posted 14/01/2022 at 12:57:52
That analyst link was very insightful and helps to explain the negative football we’ve observed and the pressure that this puts on our defence. Thanks for sharing the article.

My view on Rafa wasn’t prejudiced based on his Liverpool connections, more that his time was done as a coach (look at the decline of Mourinho as an example). The game has evolved again due to Pep and Klopp etc and the newer coaches coming through in Germany.

Just look at kick offs as a prime example. 5 years ago or more no defenders in the PL would be in their own box. It would all be long ball, win it from the half way line onwards (range of years may be out but you get my point!). Now, everyone in the PL is playing out from the back.

Football evolves, as does the game philosophy and style. Rafa’s style may come back but right now it’s outdated and not working. That’s why I’d advocate a new manager who can get the best out of the players we have got.

In terms of names, even the article itself calls out Graham Potter as a replacement. I’d loved for us to have gone for someone like that to see the impact he could have on this club

Tommy Carter
50 Posted 14/01/2022 at 14:06:40

Andrew. I have made this point repeatedly. Benitez is old news and so too is Mourinho. Both capitalised upon a revolution in tactics around the early part of the century. They set up teams to be defensively solid, with powerful midfielders ahead of them, a lone striker and heavily reliant upon grinding out results with counter punch strategy.

They were both successful with it. But the game has movers way beyond this now, and many years ago too.

What has Benitez achieved in the last 15 years? In the last 5 years he’s been relegated and managed in China.

His success is ancient history. Look at it this way, if there was a 45 year old manager who had 5 years experience that consisted solely of - getting Newcastle relegated and then getting them back up. Then managing in China for a couple of years - would that be an acceptable appointment for a football club that wishes to find success?

Ed Prytherch
51 Posted 14/01/2022 at 14:46:00
John Lennon gave us a label for this mess over 50 years ago: "A Spaniard in the Works".
Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:03:06
I think you could read that dissection, and easily take it most of it apart. That’s not me sticking up for Benitez, but more about how I feel when I read people explaining things with such clarity!
Ajay Gopal
53 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:06:55
Tomorrow is going to be a watershed moment for Benitez. Win it and he gets some breathing time. Lose it and the pressure will become unbearable especially with the next game at home against Stevie G's Villa and Digne with a point to prove. It is good to see the key players getting back into contention - if the whole team stays focused and determined, a win against Norwich should be achievable.
Barry Rathbone
54 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:29:01
Disagree with almost every point in this article.

1. The FIRST team is at best mid table as zero competition for places exist

2. The squad overall is relegation standard

3. Take out a good portion of the FIRST team engulfed by injury and hey presto we drop like a stone. Fuck all to do with that nebulous entity "tactics". Football doesn't have snipers on the roof covering infantry creeping up the left flank wirh diversionery action through the centre.

4. Since Adam was a lad we've been calling for evisceration of this and previous squads now it's happening fans can't cope with the expected pain.

Grow a pair. If we really want change it won't come easy give the fella the season and so be it if we get relegated

Will Mabon
55 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:41:24
The one line from the linked article that most encapsulates its message:

"...and a territorial retreat quickly translates to lower self-esteem. "

This can be further summarized; Negativity. This is the basis of Benitez' approach.

There's only one avenue of hope, as far as go success and the kind of football we'd like to watch. In those early games, was the relatively good football prior to injury problems an intention of Benitez, or a reflection that he hadn't yet fully put his stamp on things?

Either the return of players from injury and integration of the new arrivals gives an improvement in results and tactics/style of play, or he's gone. I give it four weeks.

Dave Lynch
56 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:41:26
If we lose badly tomorrow, then I'm afraid I will have lost all faith in him and IMO he will have to go.
I have supported him so far but...
Will Mabon
57 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:47:44

re. your points 1 & 2. Would you have said that early last season, or early this season? The squad is better than that, even allowing for the player changes in this period. Management, culture, attitude, commitment are the problems.

I agree with the effect of injuries you make in point 3.

Jay Harris
58 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:49:42
Like all stats and reports they tell the story the writer wants to tell.

Of course Everton stats changed once injuries to key players bit and their replacements couldnt pass or hold on to the ball. We have known that for years. That is on the players not the tactics.

We also know that a team with Michael Keane in is not going to operate a high block system.

The answer to all those negative stats is change the players which is exactly what Benitez is doing.

Are any of us upset with Denarai Gray or Townshend compared to Iwobi or Bernard. Hell no.

Has Anthony Gordon been held back by tactics or are we happy with him.

Most of our problems this season have come from player errors in fact the report mentions 6 errors by Michael Keane. Is it Benitez fault that injuries to Mina and Godfrey taking such a long time to recover from Covid necessitate Keane playing every game.

Personally I wouldnt have him in a B side.

Now I hasten to add I was one of those opposed to Benitez appointment. I wanted GAltier but he was a risk too. Potter was an unrealistic target so we should stop going on about him too.

I believe Benitez singlemindedness is what the club needs right now and once we have flushed the cancer out of the club we can consider a better manager but for now I urge all Evertonians to get behind the team and the manager because "Benitez hatred" is not helping our results nor the image of our supporters.

Steve Brown
59 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:51:02
Barry @ 54, surely the most memorable post of the year so far.

'Nebulous entity tactics', 'snipers on the roof', 'diversionary action through the centre' and 'so be it if we get relegated.' It was just missing 'jumpers for goal posts.'

We need more of this old school wisdom, so here is some more in case Barry is busy and can't post.


Kunal Desai
60 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:52:23
Would have more faith in Statler and Waldorf running this club than Kenwright and Moshiri.

I believe Benitez will be here for atleast another season, unless we are firmly in the bottom 3, he aint going anywhere.

This is Everton, we have no standards.

Steve Brown
61 Posted 14/01/2022 at 15:57:28
Jay @ 58, surely even you must be bored by your endless excuse making for 1 premier win in 13 games and 6 points from a potential 36.

Because we are.

Winston Williamson
62 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:02:27
I’d have Graham Potter, David Moyes, Marco Silva, Duncan Ferguson, John Ebbrell, Mavis the Tea Lady or Bob the fucking Builder managing us before Benitez!

Jesus, our standards have been lowered!

Iain Latchford
63 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:10:23
I'm still in favour of giving Benitez time, for the same reasons Jay mentions. However if we lose tomorrow I'm not sure there's a way back. No one should be hoping that happens.
Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:14:54
Winston (62) yes our standards have been lowered year after year but I think they might start going upwards in the not too distant future with Mr.Benitez raising them with not much help from the owners and none at all from the boardroom, keep at it Rafa, you’re a very brave man taking all the stick day after day and boos on match days, you don’t need it and can afford to be somewhere else but I hope you persevere and turn these boos into cheers, there are quite a few still backing you.
Andrew Bentley
65 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:29:01
I clearly meant goal kicks not kick offs. Sure you got what I was trying to say but thought I’d correct myself.

@Barry 54, sadly it has everything to do with tactics. If Rafa plays 5 at the back and only 2 CMs then we invite pressure onto ourselves and that’s why we make more mistakes that leads to goals. If he picked the right formation for the players he had available then I’d buy your arguments more, but the last 2 matches with 5 at the back hasn’t worked. He could have easily played 4 at the back with the players available and had more in midfield, but he chose not too. Hence the negativity tag.

And those formations were against the mighty powerhouses of Brighton and Hull let’s not forget

Darren Hind
66 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:30:21
You really surprise me with your support for Rafa, Dave A.

Not because you are going against majority opinion - You've never been scared of doing that, but Rafa seems to go against all the things you hold dear about the club and the game.

I can only assume you think now is the time to draw a line in the sand and hope the medicine works

Barry Rathbone
67 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:30:33
Will 57

I've been saying it for years (as have many others) the "comfy factor" of senior pros at this club is entirely down to no challenge from the stiffs. How often has the charge of "playing when they feel like it" been levelled at Everton players going back decades?

I can't remember a discussion about who is the better of two in "x" position.

Steve 59 . mmm!! (protrudes chin)

Robert Tressell
68 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:45:53
Barry, I completely agree with you. If we want to see better results and quality football, then we need a much stronger squad of players.

We credit managers with far too much. Only a very select few get a club materially higher than the sum of their parts.

Many just reap the rewards of huge investment (like the conveyor belt at Chelsea) or an extremely well organised club (eg Brighton and Wolves).

Not easy to deliver success at a club that is currently skint and is beset by extremely poor wider club management.

Benitez has made awful mistakes. So do Pep, Klopp and Tuchel. Those mistakes bite them so infrequently because they almost always have miles better players than the opposition.

And much more so than Benitez, our players have made awful mistakes that cost us games we would otherwise have won.

Personally I don't even like Benitez and didn't really want him here. But I agree Barry that it's good to see someone trying to force proper squad development and some unlikely use of youth.

Dale Self
69 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:56:09
Yeah no offence Jim but that's just flamethrower rhetoric. Good that those who need the outlet can vent from another angle but basically it is out as the conclusion and insert whatever you wish to support the proposition.

Okay, if you need some give from the 'keep' side, we're not proud of how the setup and style of play will advance from the primitive shit we have now. We just know there needs to be turnover and with less organisational experience of a Potter or Howe this could crash. So if you have names other than those two who are not leaving their comfy chairs let's hear them. I would be interested if Rudi Garcia would be interested but for the moment I still believe in leaving Rafa in place to complete at least an initial phase of turning over the squad. Too many have been here that cannot be motivated because they have good reason to believe the manager will be gone before their contract is up.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:56:43
Darren (66), Darren I’m sticking with Rafa because of the whole situation going back over quite a few years but mainly because of the environment of the last six years, Benitez has inherited the complete mess those years have created, the threadbare squad he took over has been made worse by the injuries and suspensions since the very early part of the season, he is trying to change the easy going nature at Finch Farm during the week, trying to work with a very weak centre midfield along with no dominating centre backs, getting to terms with the transfer situation and full backs not operating properly.

Rafa has made plenty of mistakes, no doubt about that but definitely not as many as the players, especially in the defensive areas, two main strikers who have hardly played together, I know I’ve said this all before but it all adds up to the where we are now.

I honesty think Rafa will turn it round once he gets more of his own players in and gets the whole club working together but it can’t be done in six months Darren, I know quite a bit more but that can wait until Rafa either sorts it out or fails, but God help us if we are left in the same situation as the end of last season and Kenwright adding no marks, regarding football knowledge that will help the club, to his clique.

I’ll still be watching, not enjoying it now but it will get worse if Benitez goes and it will make my full Everton journey from the cradle to the grave very unpleasant.

Sorry for the long reply Darren but Iknow you’ll understand even if you don’t agree.

Jay Harris
71 Posted 14/01/2022 at 16:57:20
Steve #61,
I understand your frustration but there are reasons for that which I expounded on.
Those results are poor and down to mainly substandard play and player errors due to being unable to cope with pressure.
For me that is on the players mainly not the manager who I feel was dealt a particularly bad hand.
If he is still not getting the results with a fully fit squad with new recruits then I will change my mind.
Barry Rathbone
72 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:02:30
Robert Tressell 68

Well said, Bobby.

I don't think any of us wanted him here and I'm open enough to say my personal beef DOES lie with his red history but Matt Busby transitioned his Man City association to Utd and became a legend. It would add a marvellous spice to the trick if he did similar here.

He had a great start with 2 of his 3 acquisitions making a huge difference then injuries like never before put a spanner in the works. It just seems some won't accept that fact. But the positive angle on this turn of events is he isn't pretending anymore he knows how shite we are and isn't taking prisoners trying to change it. I like it.

As fans we should send him a big cake with blue icing saying "thanks boss"

Martin Mason
73 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:06:06
This is exactly what I have said several times, Benitez is a dinosaur who is simply out of date now. Not sure if he was ever in date really apart from one act of God Champions League win.

Yes, he did have bad luck with what he inherited but that was the least part of his problems, the vast majority of which were self-inflicted. The only hope is that, by another act of God, he manages to turn our fortunes around… but I have low hopes on that.

Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:06:45
John #44...

"Sacking a manager in the middle of a transfer window in which the club is investing in several new players makes no sense at all."

Best comment, best post.

I don't want Benitez, never did, but I sure as hell don't want him sacked halfway through a window in which we are finally doing timely business instead of waiting for the last 15 minutes as usual. And I sure as hell don't want him replaced by Duncan Ferguson and his one career win. (Wonder who Dunc would be signing for our midfield.)

Jay and Brian, from what I have read, Galtier has never shown the slightest interest in managing in England, or in leaving France for that matter. Right after he left Lille in May, he told L'Equipe that he was really interested only in Nice. And that's where he went.

Mike Gaynes
75 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:16:39
Dave #70, splendid (and brave). I'm not as optimistic as you that Benitez will turn things around, but heartily agree that there's no real alternative to letting him try.
Brian Harrison
76 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:16:55
Dave @70,

I would love to know why you think he can turn it around? He had his own players at Newcastle... that didn't end well. He went to China and took some of his trusted players... that didn't work either.

Reading comments from his press conference today, he said our run of poor results of late have nothing to do with systems and more to do with tactics, and who is responsible for our tactics???

He will blame players and anyone else rather than himself, it's what he has always done. Alan Myers, who seems to know what happens at Everton, commented yesterday that the El Ghazi deal had no tie-up with the Digne transfer but today Benitez said it was tied-up with the Digne transfer.

He went on to talk about a playmaker in midfield, so why sign another winger if that's your priority? He also said we have balanced the books – how have we done that? Our two new fullbacks cost more than we got from Villa for Digne, plus the wages for El Ghazi, Mykolenko and Patterson will combined be more than we were paying Digne.

I heard a little bit from Gerrard's press conference where he said, as soon as they knew Digne was being sold, they did everything to get him. He then went on to talk about Digne's quality, so someone is wrong.

Also, I saw a stat yesterday which showed Digne had the most assists over the last 18 months. Mind to listen to everyone he has been woeful for exactly 18 months – not 15 not 17 but exactly 18 months – where the stats show that's not true.

Will Mabon
77 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:19:53

I agree that there is too little drive and commitment. I'm also aware of the fact that this same group of players have performed very differently (better) in several periods in the last eighteen months. These variations in themselves prove no permanent, inherent lethargy or lack of ability in all members of the squad.

The "Comfy Factor" is a thing, be it in the club as a whole or the team/squad. There are many aspects and areas requiring improvement. At team level, the responsibility for this rests with the team manager and associated staff.

Accepting our injury problems, certain lack of squad depth and size, this doesn't excuse or justify Benitez's management so far, or recently. There is no excuse or need for the awful basic negativity as the default way we play. This over-careful approach has not even yielded "safe" results; we keep losing.

We have a squad the equal of West Ham for example. We've had the injuries – but we don't have enough excuse to be in the position we're in. This is on the team management – motivation, preparation, the set-up, the tactics, in-game management, subs etc.

"How often has the charge of "playing when they feel like it" been levelled at Everton players going back decades?"

This is to suggest all those different players in all those different teams under all those different managers are somehow all the "comfy" type. Impossible! Which suggests the deeper-rooted problems or management of management within the club – another issue altogether!

Martin Mason
78 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:21:12
That is absolutely correct Mike. Exactly now is a bad time. End of season is fine with the close season for getting a new head coach in.

They are supposedly carrying out a review on how the club should be run overall so now would be crazy as you say. Mind you, think about who's doing the review.

Danny O’Neill
79 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:23:50
I agree with you Dave Abrahams and Darren, yes, line in the sand moment for me.

We have been changing manager after manager for years.

Nothing has changed.

That tells me the manager position is not the problem. The problems lie elsewhere. How a billionaire owner cannot or will not see that is starting to be beyond my simple mind.

We'll still be at Carrow Road tomorrow. In body, in mind or in spirit.

Dale Self
81 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:27:56
No, it is not.
Will Mabon
82 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:28:21
To those putting this all on the limited ability and attitude of basically most of the players, this is essentially to say that all the playing staff have been this way since Moyes and early Martinez.

Even if this were the case, which manager has had the worse run playing the worse football in this period?

Brian Harrison
83 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:28:51
Mike @74,

You say Galtier has shown no interest in managing in England or in leaving France. Well, you may be right but if nobody from the Premier League asks the question, we will never know.

I wish I had a pound for people who said they would never do something but ended up doing it. He is an outstanding coach, maybe because he doesn't speak English is holding him back but Pochettino couldn't speak much English when he took over Southampton but managed to turn them around.

I can't think of another coach who would have won their national league and walk away as he felt he had taken them as far as he could. Most coaches would have demanded and got a doubling of their salary and wanted the contract for 5 years. But he has such faith in his ability he takes over at Nice now they are in 2nd place in the league and challenging PSG for the title – just like he did with Lille.

Bobby Mallon
84 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:30:12
Frank wolf @ 27 and all the other let’s give Benitez a chance. The bloke picks the team the tactics and tells players where to play. He never ever should play Rondon but he does ffs. He has been culpable for all that’s happening on the pitch. I agree we have not had the players putting in a shift but that’s his fault. If we loose tomorrow he has to go and Phil Neville and Cahill would walk over broken glass as would Rooney right now.
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:31:52
Brian #76, this statement is not correct:

"the wages for El Ghazi, Myelenko and Patterson will combined be more than we were paying Digne."

Digne was making 119K/week. We are paying El Ghazi 15, Patterson 28, Mykolenko 58 for a total of 101K/week.

Regarding Digne's assists, the various time frames can be deceptive, but I think the most relevant statistic is this: In his last 20 games for us, he assisted on one goal.

Ironically, it was a corner kicked targeting DCL last May against Villa... the game in which we were beaten at home by some guy named El Ghazi.

Regarding your post #83, I assume that with his record of success, Galtier has been pursued by lots of clubs from different countries. I cannot factually state that one of them was us. What I can state, because I researched it last summer, is that there has never been a published report indicating that he was ever interested in a job outside France.

Will Mabon
86 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:34:38
"Ironically, it was a corner kicked targeting DCL last May against Villa... the game in which we were beaten at home by some guy named El Ghazi."

Hey, Mike - you've uncovered the whole secret of the club's long-term scouting strategy.

Winston Williamson
87 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:36:28
Dave A. I like your optimism. I always like your posts too. So I’m not going to argue.

Time will tell, and as all you want is the best for our club, I truly hope you turn out to be 100% correct!

Brian Harrison
88 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:36:37

Is it any wonder that Dignes assists have gone through the floor when Benitez said he wanted him to be more defensive than he had been, so obviously his stats in the last 20 games where most were under Benitez. Look at his assists stats before Benitez came and then tell me about selective time frames.

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:41:22
Alan Myers, is probably right Brian, but this might be Benitez, also getting his point across, because he didn’t want El Ghazi, and would sooner have signed a centre back, and another midfielder, for very obvious reasons.

The club is rotten to the core imo, and not many people who were already at the club, seem to want to really help this manager, for whatever reason, and that just about sums it up.

Maybe it’s because his reputation precedes him, and he’s also not wanted because of his Liverpool connections, but if this is the case, then many people connected to Everton, feel more duty towards themselves, rather than our once great football club imo, but I honestly think that’s been obvious for a very long time, unfortunately.

Martin Mason
90 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:42:47
I'll try to be fair. We are rebalancing the club to get into a strong financial position. We are getting rid of expensive dead wood at career end and bringing in young lower cost players. It is difficult to knock as a strategy?
Will Mabon
91 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:46:18
Tony, too much uncomfortable truth in there, along with the other problems, I fear. Unsatisfied as I am with Benitez, he's probably not operating in the best of circumstances. Not the best of times.
Mike Gaynes
92 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:46:20
Brian, actually my post #85 has a typo... it was 30 games with one assist, not 20. That's pretty ugly for a guy who averaged an assist every three games before then. And the first 15 games of that dry spell were under Carlo, not Benitez.

Personally, I think it had less to do with coaching than injury. I believe he never recovered from that bad ankle injury in November 2020.

Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:47:19
I’d say it would be difficult to knock if it was getting driven by a different manager Martin, (not my feelings) but this might happen soon, if results don’t improve quickly.
Darren Hind
94 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:49:52
Dave 70

The more you write the more I will read, so don't ever feel you need to apologise for the length of your response. Not to me

I knew you wouldnt duck the question and I knew there wasnt a short answer.

Everyone connected with the club is at fever pitch at the moment. I think the pressure on Rafa is immense.
He is, I believe, quite literally living from game to game.
As you know, time is not a luxury afforded to the modern day manager. One false move and he could be out. He has to get it right and he has to keep getting it right. Big, big ask

I think the club should either back him (Guarantee him at least year) or sack him (now)

Don Alexander
95 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:52:11
Moshiri and the boardroom he's responsible for letting advise him have kiboshed any notion of attractive football breaking out at Everton any time this or next season, minimum, as far as I can see.

Having succeeded in the largest most useless net spend in Premier League history (as far as I know) they still have a training ground with way more than a few lumps of dead wood in it but are now unable to even try to spend their way out of it, and that's why they think they need the dinosaur Raffas Benitisaurus.

To me his job is merely to keep us from relegation. The quality of football means zilch to Moshiri and his boardroom. They're in it to sponge a profit from the new ground to boost their personal finances and to hell with anything demanded by the fans.

Martin Mason
96 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:53:55
Yes but Carlo's tactics are very similar to Benitez's. Nothing wrong with that of course but Digne's best game is as an overlapping full back. Interesting to see but I feel he will shine again under the slippy one? Probably against us.

I suffer from eternal and totally irrational hope in all things Everton.

Mike Gaynes
97 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:54:14
Will #86, haha, but that's no secret. I'm convinced we've signed several players from other Prem clubs -- Siggy, Bolasie and Doucoure for example -- based largely on how they played against us!
Tony Abrahams
98 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:54:42
I’ve heard Moshiri is in town Darren, but maybe it’s just that time of the year, when he gives Everton a little bit of his time!
Pete Clarke
99 Posted 14/01/2022 at 17:58:59
Benitez not only inherited a poor team but he also inherited two absolute balloon heads who run the shit show. Right now, he is just a deflection for those idiots above him who have not got one single football brain cell between them. How did we come to this?

Looking at the fixtures coming up, we have to be taking 5 or 6 points from the next 3 games because, if we don't, then we are in big trouble and we will need the current Bottom 3 to remain consistently shit to keep us up.

Benitez cannot help this club. What are we going to do if we stay up? Call him a hero? Are we going to fly flags in blue and white in the unlikely event that he wins us a trophy? Are we going to sing his name?

My Arse to any of that because he is a busted flush who landed this job purely because we have an owner who is incomprehensively stupid and we as supporters are standing watching on the deck as our club sinks.

I'm sure a few of us are grateful that we have a new stadium being built but right now I would give that away for an owner who understood football, Bill Kenwright fucking off, and a manager who knows how to get his team playing good football.

Does anybody think these three can lead us to success in the future?

Darren Hind
100 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:03:43
I hope you are right Tony.

He's been to less matches than your average Kopite recently
The very first thing Moshiri needs to do now is get himself front of house.

Time to take ownership and responsibilty. Time to be a leader

Will Mabon
101 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:05:11
"Raffas Benitisaurus".

Epithet of the day, Don, no question.

Mike, 97 - true. Vlasic another.

Johan Elmgren
102 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:06:32
Robert #68. "We credit managers with far too much. Only a very select few get a club materially higher than the sum of their parts."

With this logic, only a select few would even need a manager. The rest could be managerless, with only someone to organize things behind the scenes. I think you really have underestimated the impact a manager actually has on the team. Why do clubs spends millions on managers if they don't offer anything else than "organisizing things behind the scenes". Fetch water and balls for the players, and then let them just play how they want there out on the field.

I beg to differ. A manager means very much. A good manager even more so. Pep is a perfectionist. He craves perfection from his players on the pitch. FSW does not, and it shows. Pep would most certainly make us a top four team. No, managers play more part than you think, and FSW is failing miserably to make our parts a larger whole sum.

FSW out now!

Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:09:20
Getting in a proper Chief executive would be a great start Darren, but I think Denise leaving has probably all blown over now, - now that people have stopped looking at the boardroom, and just want the managers blood?
Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:13:40
Will #101, wow, what a memory, and right you are. I completely forgot that. Hah!

And I'll add two more. Didn't both Lennon and Cleverley score against us in the season before we signed them?

Will Mabon
105 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:17:07

a good post. The manager however needs the right environment and support, the freedom, beyond just the money.

Ed Prytherch
106 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:23:45
This a quote from the linked Analysis site:
"Eight of their 20 goals conceded have been from set-pieces, but even more concerning is that seven were the result of clear defensive errors, of which six were the fault of Michael Keane."

Kevin Prytherch was hammered a few days ago for comparing Holgate favourably with our other defenders. It is clear that he is not the most culpable for our leaky defence.

Will Mabon
107 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:24:02
There is probably a whole team, Mike, plus subs... but that's beyond my memory.
Mike Gaynes
108 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:25:36
Off-topic, a hearty well-done to our old friend James Rodriguez, who helped save the life of a stricken opponent last week in Qatar:

Peter Carpenter
109 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:27:26
The season starts here. Injured players are coming back. More than half the team are his choices. Winnable games coming up. Raffas is here to the end unless it goes totally tits up. How could he conceivably be replaced? If we were in the bottom three by mid-March? Walter Smith got the bullet in March, I think. Any later is too late. Then we would probably be faced with a Duncan Ferguson inspired sprint for safety in April.
Best get behind the team now and hope he knows what he is doing (trying hard to erase Brighton from memory bank).
Dennis Stevens
110 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:28:05
Every match is critical in the situation the club is in, of course, but I think the next handful of matches are particularly so. By the time we play Manchester City in late February Benitez will have turned things 'round, hopefully. If not, we really will be in the mire & a change of Manager then may be too late when there'll be less than a third of the season left.
Will Mabon
111 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:31:14
Ed I can remember a couple but I'm wondering what they classed as an error. Missed header etc., subjective stuff?

Either way, defence needs work!

Johan Elmgren
112 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:34:52
Will, I agree, and he has the support from the owner, but not many else it seems. That's why it was the wrong appointent to begin with, dividing the club before he had even managed a game...

However I don't think FSW would succeed however much support he would get. His tactics and man-management is outdated. But I can agree that he has done some good things during his time here. Things are never black and white...

He did bring in Gray and Townsend who, especially Gray has been a revelation. He has given Gordon gametime, although it was forced, but when he saw the quality/mindset of Gordon, he has kept him in the side, which is good.

I can't fault the selling of Digne, but I think the matter was handled abysmally by FSW, publically castrating him. Selling him was right though, while he had a resale value. And for that money he has brought in two hopefully future great fullbacks. So I don't think everything he has done is shit.

However his tactics, gameplans and motivationalskills are... He's clearly past it, which is why we now have gone 12 with one win.

So basically the question is, do we prefer the "ruffling of feathers", or do we want to win games and play a football that is nice on the eye?

Personally, I think the "ruffling" can be made while playing good football. But to achieve that we need a DoF to do the "ruffling" and a good progressive manager to do the "managing". That seems far away right now though, and because of that the sacking of FSW seems the only way to influx some new energy to this deflated squad.

FSW out now!

Tony Abrahams
113 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:35:49
I think Benitez is banking on Yerry Mina, which might be a good thing if he can stay fit, but that’s a lot easier said than done for the Big Colombian.
Dale Rose
114 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:37:35
The rot in the club really took over when we hired Koeman.

Darren Hind
115 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:38:38
Kevin was always right Ed.

Holgate is the whipping boy of a dozen or so posters on this site, They are on the LF every week blaming him for goals we havent conceded yet, or goals in games he didnt even play in.
Challenge them to list mistakes he as made leading to goals and they turn all Harpo Marx.

You tube seems to have curbed their enthusiasm.

Dave Abrahams
116 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:43:08
Johan (102), Johan do you truly believe that the Man. City manager could turn Everton’s present squad of players into a top four team?
Johan Elmgren
117 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:45:42
Dave, yes. Or at least top six.

And I think a good progressive manager like Potter, Ten Hag could make this team top six also. If Moyes can make West Ham top six, why wouldn't a good manager be able to do that with us? I think the quality of the squad is quite similar to West Hams...

Dennis Stevens
118 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:46:27
Johan #112 I think you might mean castigating rather than castrating :-)
Johan Elmgren
119 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:48:45
Martin Mason
120 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:49:56
I can see the line up against Norwich. Back 5 and six wingers, no midfield or forwards.
Johan Elmgren
121 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:50:48
Dennis, haha, yes that might be the word I was looking for... I surely hope he hasn't castrated Digne :-D
Ed Prytherch
122 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:55:18
Mike #104. The flip side is that we bought Keane from Burnley shortly after Lukaku had made him look like one of Lewis's.
Peter Carpenter
123 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:56:45
A public castrating for making mistakes may be the way to go. It should lead to improved concentration levels.
Dale Self
124 Posted 14/01/2022 at 18:56:59
Enough with the over the top characterizations of Rafa's announcement of Digne's situation. The press asked questions and Rafa decided to disclose his desire to leave. This was after some crossed signals regarding his first team position and his subsequent availability to the squad. That is not a negligible issue for any incoming coach so let's not make light of it.

If those who wish to insist on that shitty narrative want to supply some time marks of the presser where Rafa personally insulted Digne I will be happy to check it out and recant. Over to you Harpae.

Sean Roe
125 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:03:32
Johan @112, Dennis @118, Johan @121 Peter @123

LOL! It's not all bad being an Evertonian.

Dennis Stevens
126 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:03:56
I'm sure Digne's transfer value would have been impacted negatively if he had been castrated - some of the other players would probably be just as worthless as before!
Dave Abrahams
127 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:05:08
Winston (87) and Darren (94) thanks for your replies. Nobody knows how this season will pan out, I just hope it turns out the way we all want it to.
Dennis Stevens
128 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:08:06
I've got my fingers crossed, Dave, but while there may be the slimmest of chances that Benitez will lead us to victory in the Cup in May, I suppose the chances of Liverpool being expelled into non-league football are probably some where between nil & zero!
John Daley
129 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:09:47
“..our standards have been lowered year after year but I think they might start going upwards in the not too distant future with Mr.Benitez raising them..”

What leads you to think that other than blind faith or fear of the alternative though, Dave?

I get wanting to ‘break the cycle’ and move away from managerial change after managerial change, but if you’re going to stick resolutely by one man who has been placed in charge you don’t just plumb for the guy who has been stinking the place out to such a degree he’s breaking unwanted record after unwanted record and proving more worthy of the ‘worst manager since Mike Walker’ moniker than any of his post-Moyes predecessors.

Beyond the bloke himself trotting out a bit of tried and tested ‘new manager speak’ (“We want to improve in every department”) and saying eighth place means nothing to him (even though he’d rip your hand off for it right now), what else has he brought to the table to suggest standards could potentially soar under his sovereignty? A fairly decent start that faded faster than Michael J Fox from a Mcfly family photo? This ‘great’ opening to the campaign and the level of ‘improvement’ Benitez claimed every Evertonian could see has been overegged nearly as much as it’s subsequent derailment being due solely to injuries. Performances were still all over the place, players still looked disorganised and unprepared, the defence still looked extremely vulnerable and I don’t think it could be claimed we comprehensively outplayed anybody.

All I see are people tying themselves in knots trying to defend the sort of piss-poor run of results not seen since Bilko told Private Doberman to shuffle the fucking deck and I just do not get it. Amateurishly dire displays, week after week, being repeatedly brushed aside as though barely of relevance and the continued projection onto Benitez of this most coveted characteristic of somehow being inherently capable of changing the mentality of those under his charge….simply by being a charmless, self-aggrandising, abrasive prick. Worked wonders so far hasn’t it?

The only evidence of any sort of attitude-shift being engendered at his behest is a slide from ‘bang average and inconsistent’ being the accepted Everton ethos, to ‘approaching each game like a mewling minnow, minus any semblance of a strategy or plan, complete with collective arse muscles collapsing before 5 minutes are even on the clock’ becoming firmly entrenched as the new exemplar.

To listen to some, Benitez is Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in ‘Stir Crazy’ all rolled into one:

He don’t take nooooo shit, no shit Rick. Oh look, there he is right now. Pure winner, big name, balls of steel, commands respect, rocking down Caldy beach on his way to bash those lazy underachieving fuckers at Finch Farm firmly into shape….Go ‘ed Rafa, lad! They won’t know what’s hit them.

He’s already sorted out the medical department and rumour is he’s since moved on to tackling other personnel who have been bringing the club down. It’s all about standards with ‘Rafa’. Proper fired into a lass from the canteen yesterday, telling her ‘From now on I want you to put an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin. An equal amount of blueberries. In each muffin’, and when she said ‘Do you know how long that’s going to take?’, ‘Rafa’ simply replied ‘I don’t care. An equal amount of blueberries in each muffin’ and stared the bitch down”.

Woah, woah, woah, wait on a minute….wasn’t that Ace Rothstein in Casino?

Nah, was it bollocks. Benitez that, lad. Asked her if she thought a muffin packing less than 16 blueberries would ever find it’s way into Peter Reid’s mouth. Boom! No comeback to that, is there? Peter Reid wouldn’t piss on a non-moist muffin. Sloped off with tears in her eyes and her card well and truly marked.

Brilliant it was. Ruthless. Just what this club has been missing. Heard she’s not been seen round the place since the school phoned to say they think it’s best if they cut her work experience short with immediate effect. Weeding them all out he is…and people want to whine on about only winning one game out of twelve, or conceding the first goal in 15 out of 21 games and 8 in a row? Pathetic.”

Mike Gaynes
130 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:13:16
Ed #122, yep, of course I remember that too... I was there!

What does "one of Lewis's" mean?

Dave Abrahams
131 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:17:02
Johan (117), come on Johan you’ve dropped them two places in the last half a bleedin’ hour.
Johan Elmgren
132 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:18:33
Dave, you're right, my bad... I'm sticking with top 4 for Pep :-)
Tony Abrahams
133 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:22:33
Weeding them all out seems like the impossible dream, because it looks like a few to many of the old boys brigade, know how to play the game.
Graeme Beresford
134 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:26:57
I don’t think there’s anything more certain that Norwich will beat us tomorrow. We have a habit of being beaten by these teams simply because they show more fight and grit than we do. The game tomorrow will be no different. Norwich at home, desperate for a win, just been stuffed by Villa, up steps Everton. Rafa’s negative tactics, poor formation, poor from set pieces. Norwich will go a goal up, we will score and they will win 2-1. I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life that they will win.
Allan Board
135 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:30:03
I can appreciate the angst, vitriol and frustration of this situation. I can also appreciate the views of others who ask for more time to be afforded and sacking a manager every year is never going to work.
It is easy to be swayed by vitriol,because it comes across more fervently and earnest,almost passionately.
However,Everton have found themselves in this same predicament on a number of occasions, almost yearly over the last 10 year's and ultimately the trigger has been pulled each time. In each instance,and without a doubt,the new incumbent has fared no better than his predecessors. It could be claimed that Ancelloti was onto something, but I am convinced he saw through the cliques and whilst what happened at his home had a bearing,his mind was made up 12 months into the job,but, in reality,would you have turned down Real Madrid?
All different types of coaches have been tried,all ages,all experience levels,all nationalities.
I personally don't see that the 'mates rates mediocrity syndrome 'has been removed yet, it is my opinion this is what has destroyed our club. I am not an advocate of the chairman-that I have made abundantly clear- and he has a lot to answer for.
So,the same MO has been tried and failed for too long that is clear.
Whilst I am not at all happy with the football on offer at present,perhaps this is the start of a breaking up of the old ways,old habits,old clichéd sound bites and the establishment.
I hope this is the case,it will not go smoothly that much I know. It will take time,it will be frustrating, there will be set backs a-plenty but also signs of a better future along the way to a more professional Everton.
The previous year's were a dismal failure, hugely frustrating and put loyalty truly to the test for fans,but change is good,professionalism is better and holding your nerve is the key to it all.
Brian Williams
136 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:31:41
"One of Lewis's." Lewis's was a big department store in Liverpool that had many clothed mannequins (or dummies) throughout the store. If you were one of Lewsis's it referred to being a dummy, in other words standing around doing fuck all.
Dale Self
137 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:32:36
Damn it Allan, I was going to come back and say something inflammatory. Good thoughts.
Dave Abrahams
138 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:37:38
John (129), no John not completely blind faith, though there is a small piece there, I want Mr. Benitez to be given a proper chance with a competent squad which he hasn’t had since the start of the season, and I know they were against easier teams, I want him to be given more than six months to sort the whole rotten club out from top to bottom and that shouldn’t be his job to sort out, but if we’re left with the way the club has been run for the six years and many years before that then we really will be in the shit.

I’m waiting until the end of February to see if there is any progress, yes I think there will be, is that too much to ask John, we’ve been waiting for the last twenty seven years, nearly, to win something surely you can wait another six weeks, if it goes the way you think it will then you can go off on one of your posts and give us all a good laugh. I hope you don’t have to.

Peter Mills
139 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:43:38
The match against Norwich is huge. If we lose, the gap between them and us is 6 points, and they will have impetus. Newcastle will buy experience. Burnley will always fight. We will be in trouble.

Pukki running behind the defence can trouble us. If Cantwell is available, he is dangerous.

Come on, Sr Benitez. Stop the talk. Stop the machinations. Get the team organised. Win a football match.

Danny Baily
140 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:46:17
Allan 135, none of the managers weaver pulled the trigger on have performed this poorly. Not a single one. Surely if we fail to win tomorrow it will be time to act?
Tony Everan
141 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:50:07
Yes Peter, Massive match tomorrow for the club and for Benitez. There’s reinforcements, there’s top class players back from injury. I watched the presser, Benitez looked very confident. I watched training with Richie, Mina and DCL back enjoying themselves and they looked pretty sharp. All will play from the start I think. I'm confident we’ll get the win and push on from here.
Dale Self
142 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:52:29
Koeman, Danny.
Jerome Shields
143 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:54:39

Two very good questions.

As for those who suggest Duncan. He would not want the job. Why would he give up his secure job, for a job he would be out off wihin a year?

Ed Prytherch
144 Posted 14/01/2022 at 19:55:27
This may help you translate some things on here:
Philip Bunting
145 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:05:02
Jerome 143 why did Dunc get interviewed for the job before Benitez if he never intended taking it...
Rob Dolby
146 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:05:19
Dave 138. Did you also have the same point of view when we had Mike Walker?

Without a shadow of doubt every club in the prem would have sacked a manager with the results that we have endured.

In his defence the purse strings are pulled. Sigurdsson! injuries to key players. Signing Gray and Townsend.

Inexcusable are his tactics with our injuries, defending at set pieces have fallen apart compared to last year. Rondon.

Most importantly he has split a fan base. I have never experienced such a low atmosphere at the game.

He has to go.

There are plenty of managers out there who would jump at the chance of managing the blues.

It just so happens that the 1 person that can sack him isn't arsed about the football. He is more interested in washing his roubles.

Rob Halligan
147 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:07:45
Graham # 134. Would you care to put your mortgage on that? No, I didn't think so.
Tony Hill
148 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:19:45
If he loses over the next few games, maybe if he loses tomorrow, he will go. Then we'll get another one and all will be better.

Just let it happen; the daft old fool will surely hang himself. No rush, sit back and enjoy and await the anointed or, er, Duncan.

It's a matter of time, you know.

Dave Williams
149 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:21:53
There is a very interesting article in the Independent today. It says how the club was like a holiday camp under Ancelotti who took no interest in training and players were allowed to do what they wanted. It goes on to say that Rafa will not tolerate anything less than 100% from anyone and the players have had the shock of their lives. This seems to tie in with the lack of effort and poor fitness levels many of us have alluded to and he will undoubtedly clear out more if they won’t buy into his philosophy.
At least he is trying to sort out this mess, though he isn’t helping himself with some odd decisions. It’s not his fault though if players can’t pass the ball to each other and haven’t got the attitude or guts to attack balls into our box.
It’s very difficult to witness this- defeat tomorrow and I will be tempted to call for his head but the problem of players not performing and not truly trying will still be there for the next guy to sort.
I know people say Moshiri and BK need to go but the problem lies with spineless arrogant players who are paid too much and so couldn’t really give a stuff about the club and the fans. Clear them out, add to the ones who do care and things will then start to change.
Tony Abrahams
150 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:35:18
That’s a point that couldn’t be disputed, because Benitez has definitely split the fan base Rob, but people were singing in the streets after the Arsenal game, (the game before last) and that doesn’t happen very often at Goodison anymore.

I’ve heard the rouble washer isn’t very happy, and if the rouble washer isn’t happy, how else is Moshiri going to find the money for Bramley-Moore?

Bramley-Moore, the ground that is going to change everything, although I’ve got no excitement for the place right now, and actually feel like that kid on work experience@129.

Andy Crooks
151 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:37:40
Should we lose to Norwich, and I think they are the worst team premier league team I have seen in ten years, we have two options ; Benitez or Duncan Ferguson. Who can save us from relegation?
It's not an easy choice.Who would you bet on to save us? Not an easy choice. If we lose lose to Norwich I would hope and expect Duncan Ferguson to be tasked with rallying us to 38 points.
If we beat Norwich, which I believe we will, I expect Hull 's early goal to be the turning point.
Tony Abrahams
152 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:48:49
Dave@149, this just sounds like it’s part of the war being fought behind the scenes, because it looks to me that certain papers are Pro-Benitez, whilst quite a few others are Anti-Benitez, which is a bit like the Evertonian fan-base right now.

I’ve heard we might be appointing another old-boy very soon, and although he’s never actually kicked a ball for Everton, he’s definitely been very good for “our saviour” down the years, which is probably the best thing a man wanting a job at Everton, needs on his CV.

Tony Hill
153 Posted 14/01/2022 at 20:50:35
I took heart from those first two goals against Hull: proper Everton goals - hidden among the dross, certainly, but lovely to look at as even Jonathan Pearce managed to spot.
Nick Page
154 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:04:16
Can’t see a win tomorrow. We’re absolutely shite. Softest team in the league. We’ll be a goal down early door chasing the game. Will get worse before it gets better.
Peter Neilson
155 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:14:03
Tony (153) I agree, great to see a perfect cross from JJK and the Gordon/Gray goal was excellent, superb play from both but what a lovely pass from Gordon. Here’s to a couple more tomorrow. As you say easy to lose sight of these.
Jay Wood

156 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:16:12
I've never been one to hit the panic button and worry about the 'R' word after a string of bad results. There were always patterns that we would get more than enough points to not even go close to relegation.

But this season, this current run, is different. Currently, there are no reassuring patterns or trends that things can quickly change for the better.

One win in 12. Six points from a possible 36. Several of those games against teams we should be beating, never mind merely drawing. Even with considerable mitigating circumstances and the many injuries we have suffered, it doesn't have a good look.

Unlike in previous seasons I simply have no idea if we will win a game against any opposition currently. I agree with those who say managers at other clubs on such putrid runs as Rafa Benitez is enduring would have been shown the door by now.

And yet, there is absolutely no indication that Farhad Moshiri is thinking like that, whereas previously he hasn't been shy or slow in pulling the trigger.

Brands was sacrificed, not Benitez. Benitez was preferred over Digne in the manager-player shoot out. Benitez is being backed in this January window, a window we don't traditionally do much business in.

A manager under threat would not be allowed such largesse unless the owner intends to stand by him.

It's an extremely high risk gamble, given this season's events.

The Brentford cup tie aside (and that too has enormous importance), our next 3 PL games are away to Norwich, home to Villa, away to Newcastle. A defeat in any of those games. The points swing against us in favour of the victor. No matter how much Moshiri is standing by his man now, today, we would be entering the 'position untenable' zone with regards to Rafa Benitez.

We need wins. NOW! Starting tomorrow. Benitez is under huge pressure if defeats, rather than wins, continues.

Peter Carpenter
157 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:19:15
Dave (149). Yes, that's a really interesting article and it makes a lot of sense. Seamus Coleman was interviewed on Radio 5 Live back in the autumn. It was the usual fawning garbage with the presenter heaping on the praise. When asked about being a great role model Seamus said that all he wanted was others to put in the same effort and 'turn up on time.' The idiot presenter totally failed to follow up on this and just carried on with the same old rubbish but maybe it fits neatly with the theme of the article.
Graeme Beresford
158 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:25:07
Rob @ 137

What makes you think I have a mortgage? I am best mates with Morishi, he lent me the cash for my house! However in return he has asked that I don’t report him to the tax man and make recommendations on Iranian strikers to cover DCL.

Seriously though, no I wouldn’t bet my mortgage on it as I’m not stupid. However nobody will convince me that Norwich won’t beat us, not after how many goals we concede, especially from set pieces. Just watch.

Rafa out.

Dave Abrahams
159 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:42:40
Ron (146),No Ron definitely not, Walker was appointed after one good season with Norwich, he didn’t have a clue. I remember debating his chances of staying in the job with Barry Horne coming down the steps of The Upper Bullens Road stand early in the season, Barry said to me “ See what we are like after Christmas with him” I said Barry “ He won’t last that long” Walker really was that useless and what an ego he had, loved himself, it shocked him when he got his comics and his P45.

You might say Mr. Benitez has got a huge ego, I’ve never met him, but people who have and know the man tell me if he’s in a company talking about football he pays attention to everybody and listens to what they say and engages with them.

I keep saying it but I will stick with him until he leaves me with egg on my face and then I’ll put my hands up and admit I was wrong about him.

Andy Crooks
160 Posted 14/01/2022 at 21:46:12
Jay, that is a very disconcerting post. Frankly,I take the view, if Jay Wood is worried, it's time to worry. Please write something positive, Jay. Or, let me train for a relegation fight.
Stuart Sharp
161 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:14:48
Jay, I think someone has hacked into your account.
Brian Murray
162 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:18:27
We will know his fate by 5 pm tomorrow. If it goes wrong then the cone mover will be hoisting ball boys up in the air all the way to Wembley an Anfield win and a top ten finish. Can’t beat a positive spin for your mental health.
Will Mabon
163 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:33:05
Strangely, this thread has me anticipating tomorrow even more.
Tony Hill
164 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:34:58
Dave @159, I agree.

I think that Benitez truly cares about this club and its future. Why on earth would he have come here otherwise? He needs none of our money, he knows that a significant portion of our fans despise him, he knows that our players aren't very good.

When I say that he cares about us, I don't mean that he dwells lovingly upon our history or that he summons the glorious ghost of Alex Young. I mean that he wants us to start to be serious and to prepare ourselves to win things. He sees us as a challenge, precisely because he knows how deep the problems are. I think he knows there are some who cloak themselves in the sentiment but who don't give a fuck about anyone other than themselves.

It could all evaporate tomorrow but I don't think he's a shallow manager, and I think he deserves better than we have chosen to give him as fans. Have we ever chanted his name or given him any credit, at any point? No.

If we're not careful, we're going to dream and scream ourselves into oblivion.

Tony Twist
165 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:36:43
It does make me shudder when people think relegation is fine just to give Benitez time. If we get relegated, I see us as a Notts Forest or a Derby County, struggling to get back into the top league. A DOF is essential, in our present state, but obviously that is a recruitment minefield. It would have to be someone who is very strong minded and knows how to achieve sustainable success. We need a DOF as no-one in the club has a clue on footballing matters and we really are approaching a critical moment in our season. In my opinion I am appalled that Benitez is still Everton's manager, that isn't due to anything else but performances and results. It is torture but I think if big Sam was in charge we would be higher up the league. Two wins or he should be sacked, he is unable to cure defensive frailties and his game plan is one dimensional and easily countered.
Dale Self
166 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:38:13
No, if Everton wins then that will be what was expected and it will have proved nothing. Nobody is going to update their beliefs. People hating Rafa is the reason it's blowing up on a thread of a loaned player making 31k who is basically an add-on to make the deal go thru due to FFP constraints for the club buying our exiting player.
Conor McCourt
167 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:39:46
John @129- I have asked every Benitez supporter I can muster to explain to me why they retain faith in the Spaniard and not one can give me any sort of answer.

I didn't want Benitez, believe his CV given his resources is shocking, have seen how many teams he has left in a dire state, believe his transfers throughout his career have been pretty dreadful so was interested to see if any predetermined bias is now affecting my judgment.

Because no one has given me any better answer than Dave has given you I am left to play devils advocate.

1-With Dominic, Richarlison and Mina (three absolutely key players) missing that magnitude of games I think we would only just be about top half whoever the manager is. We are probably only two or three wins of where we should be given these factors hence Benitez second half of the season remark. If Dominic was mainly fit the table would be a lot more favourable to cover up all our deficiencies.

2-If Gray was Benitez (not a Brands) signing then he has no doubt been electric so far and Townsend has been decent for a free

3-The team look fitter than last season

4-Once behind we look at least to have shown some character in games. Under Ancelotti when in front we would nearly always win games but when behind we looked like we had no answers.

5- Benitez does seem at least have a plan to take the club forward. Under Ancelotti we needed a right back, right winger and midfield sorted out and we never really fixed any. Benitez has brought in pace which was lacking, has a decent front three now even though they haven't really played together, addressed the right back issue and will look to balance the midfield area. He seems to be putting round pegs in round holes, it's just whether they are good pegs which is the question.

6- Benitez has brought in two full backs that if his judgement is spot on will be around for the next ten years. He seems to be putting the future of the club above his ego unlike Ancelotti. He is doing a different job to the Italian whose remit as he seen it was purely short term results. Benitez looks to want to marry the two of getting results and progressing the club long term.

Sorry John that's all the possible positives I could see and even those need a little bit of wishful thinking. The shit prehistoric football, very few players improving while many struggling, poor basics, dire subs, dreadful formations, dreadful tactics and his intransigence will surely mean that his downfall is a matter of if not when.

Even in Silva's annus horriblous there were a lot of factors that made you think this guy had a lot of things go against him that if he had have got an extra few results and we weren't so perilous that he may be worth sticking with. Under Benitez it is really hard to make that case with what's occurring on the pitch.

Andy@160-on another thread posters thought I was off my rocker because I couldn't care if Allan went or not. The main reason I come to that view is that I don't feel we are relegation candidates. Despite how dreadful the season has been we are still only about eleven points from safety.

In the next three games if we get five points Benitez will be safe and we will be well on our way. If he fails another will come in and will have an instant uplift.
Just having Dominic play in half the remaining games will see a dramatic difference to our points total.

I watched Brighton dominate Palace tonight the visitors had Gallagher,Elise, Eduard and Benteke who could all pop up with a goal. Brighton should have been out of sight but had to rely on an own goal to get a point. We have Richarlison,Calvert Lewin and Grey who will win games despite the manager.

Things are awful but we will be playing Premier League Football next season.

Dale Self
168 Posted 14/01/2022 at 22:39:47
Nottingham Forest. They hate it when you refer to them as Notts, their derby rivals.
Tony Twist
169 Posted 14/01/2022 at 23:03:40
Sorry for my ignorance Dale.
Yes Rafa has improved certain things, things that he finds easy to achieve. Unfortunately those things are not top priority. Top priority achievements are; winning lots of games, train and motivating players to not concede goals, put your ego away and quieten the white noise of the Rafa out brigade by keeping your head down and shutting the f*ck up and last but no means least play attacking, attractive football so that everyone gets high hopes for the future. A manager with your experience it should be a piece of piss to achieve these top priorities.
Jay Wood

170 Posted 14/01/2022 at 23:06:38
Andy ole son.

In previous seasons I was always confident, in bad runs, based on our own form and that of other teams over the season, that we held our destiny in our own hands. This season, that isn't the case. We are relying on other teams to 'do us a favour.'

The one saving grace I can find at the moment is that there really are three worse teams than us sitting in the bottom 3 places. Burnley, Newcastle and Norwich.

Even now in the accumulative 56 games those 3 teams have played they have only managed 4 wins between them. One less than the paltry 5 Everton has won in our 18 games. But as I already said, that they remain in those positions is dependent on them not improving, rather than being confident our results will improve as I was in previous seasons.

Sean Dyche does great work at Burnley given his resources, but they struggle to score goals and are building up a heavy backlog of fixtures with postponed CV-19 impacted games.

Eddie Howe has not got a 'bounce' out of Newcastle and along with Norwich have the worst defence in the league. Their signings in this window are a bit 'meh' and far from the megastars the fan base was expecting.

Norwich look, as you yourself wrote, as poor a side the PL has ever seen.

We now have as near as damn it a full squad to pick from. Yes, some need match fitness. The new boys will need to be bedded in. But Rafa now has no excuses.

His signings to me hint of a plan, a method. He has reinforced the flanks, both in defence and attack, with more youthful, pacier, aggressive players. I presume this is with the intention to feed the likes of Dom and Richy (if fit).

What nags at me is Rafa has a reputation for being parsimonious with his teams set up well defensively to not concede. He inherited a set-up which the Ancelotti's quickly put right: the defensive side of our game with effective zonal marking. We stopped conceding cheap goals from easy balls into the penalty area and from corners and free kicks. That has evaporated under Rafa.

Yes, he has been restricted in what he can do with injuries, but even so overloading the defence whilst vacating the midfield has demonstrably hurt us, yet he persists with it.

Tomorrow will tell us a helluva lot. The selection. The tactics. And above all else, the result. Norwich have lost their last 6 PL games without scoring a single goal and conceding 16. Lose tomorrow and the warning klaxon horns will be sounding loud.

Danny O’Neill
171 Posted 14/01/2022 at 23:12:47
Very good balanced "both sides of the fence" assessment that Conor.

I done a bit of reading (mostly Wikipedia admittedly) and ironically, there are more than a few parallels to his manoeuvres now and what he done you know where.

He probably won't be the one still around to see that through, but he could be the one to upset the apple cart so to speak and set the next incumbent up for a smoother path for success. I keep saying it, if he can just create real change and wake the owner up, that will be enough for me from a manager I didn't want.

He made some good signings mind. Convinced Gerrard to stay, Alonso & Torres. Also wanted Barry but the board went and bought Robbie Keane against his wishes.

Who'd have thought; boardroom interference in transfers?!!

Properly empowered DoF please.

That's the spirit Brian. Wembley it is and I don't care who the manager is!!

Dale Self
172 Posted 14/01/2022 at 23:20:10
Tony 169, it is Mr. Abrahams that you should worry about on that one. I'm just passing that along. On Rafa, yes it is ugly but he is dealing with the worst of what can happen when unmotivated players lose faith in a football club with whom they are under contract. If we went full history we could probably find many actors in this play that we could identify with and would have empathy for them. Unfortunately when your football team is sucking full perspective goes out the window.

The fact is that Rafa has inherited the problems all others tried to trade past or scapegoat away. We don't have any moves other than what Rafa is admittedly clumsily making way through. I'm not sure many others would be bothered to do the business, they would prefer a DoF or a suit to take the fall. Which is why the potential replacement list looks a lot like friends of Claude Rains.

James Flynn
173 Posted 14/01/2022 at 00:42:31
Jay (58) - "Like all stats and reports they tell the story the writer wants to tell."

Never heard of the writer, so looked him up. Alex Keble. Just another writer.

His analysis leaves out what we here know and discuss ad infinitum, Rafa's discovered, as Ancelotti found out before him.

We don't play quick, multi-pass, intricate movement forward because we don't a team of players who can do that. The "closest" thing we have to a midfield general is Gomes, for God's sake.

Forget the defense. We need young ball-skilled midfield footballers. The lack of which is our main problem.

We're down, I agree. The worst time to put the boot in. We DO NOT have a relegation team.

Rafa stays as we work our way out of the current situation.

Tony Hill
174 Posted 15/01/2022 at 01:35:14
James @173, you're right, of course, about the midfield. It's the big, aching void; or it is the second aching void after our central defence.

Gomes, I still hope against hope. A fine player ruined by his mind and, therefore, not a fine player at all - there are plenty of those.

It can be cured, though, and I am sure that even our disgraceful manager is not unaware. Ball-skilled? Yes, but primarily we need a couple of hard types who can move quickly enough.

Winston Williamson
175 Posted 15/01/2022 at 01:49:13
On midfielders, I’d love Kelvin Phillips at Everton. He’s tough, and can pass and carry the ball. Not realistic really, but I do like him.

Not really sure on what midfield players would be available, but I agree, we really need to clear out midfield and rebuild it

Tony Abrahams
176 Posted 15/01/2022 at 08:43:52
A very good post combining the pro’s & cons imo that Conor.

Silva got badly let down by Brands imo, but he was headstrong, he carried on trying to play a high line, with players who find it near-impossible, and I personally this area of the pitch is the biggest sticking point for Benitez, three seasons later.

Martin Mason
177 Posted 15/01/2022 at 08:49:52
Perhaps I'm wrong but for me the ideal supporters provide encouragement if there are problems in the game such as going down to an early goal. Why do we boo? We are possible the worst for doing this? It must have a negative, head down effect.
Tony Abrahams
178 Posted 15/01/2022 at 09:14:56
Against Brighton, Holgate, made a fantastic last ditch recovery tackle, which gave his defensive partner the ball. Keane had time, he tried to play a forward ball to Gordon, which was easily anticipated by a Brighton player, instead of just playing a simple square ball to Kenny. Brighton regain possession, worked it well, Holgate is slow, and also could have showed more desire, when trying to charge the shot down. Goal to Brighton. Five seconds later, you’re just a fat Spanish waiter is being sang by the Glawdys St. If I didn’t like Everton, I’d be getting a lot of enjoyment out of Evertonians right now, but because I’ve got Royal blue veins, I’m not.
Danny O’Neill
179 Posted 15/01/2022 at 09:47:20
That point about Silva Tony can be applied to so many modern managers and coaches. They keep trying to play a system they have in their head when they don't have the players to implement it. For me, even though not my preferred formation as I like width, we should be using the players we have and employ 4-3-3.

Well, a modern 4-3-3. Almost 4-3-2-1; a point striker with 2 wider players either side slightly behind, which gives you a bit of width.

Martin, that's not particular to Everton. It's a modern phenomenon with the generation of fans that have grown up in the Sky frenzied pundit driven era.

Sorry to stereotype and I know there's always been that "shite Everton" bloke in the crowd and also some very educated young supporters. But in recent years, general consensus has been if a club wins it's great, if they lose it's shite and sack the manager. If Everton lose but play well, I won't boo them.

I know football is and always has been about results, but less and less people judge performances and look at the football these days in my opinion. They just want the result. We all do, but hopefully I'm making some kind of sense.

Brian Murray
180 Posted 15/01/2022 at 10:07:18
Alright Danny ! You know my and thousands more opinion of this club being able to go to the next level needs professional people at the in the boardroom and the best you can get on the training pitches from over 18 team onward not lazy in house appointments courtesy of the living breathing heartbeat of an inept curse called bk. I really believe if we had pep in charge he would have the same problem. I’m clinging to the hope this strong minded stubborn manager will target his next victim as in the rotating dickie bow fella in the main stand. It’s just an opinion and hope to god I’m well wide of the mark and we are on the cusp of at least being a threat again to the top four.
Rob Dolby
181 Posted 15/01/2022 at 10:17:30
Tony 178. You describe Brighton's winning goal. The fact is we got dominated by Brighton at home.

Pickford pulled off some great saves to keep us in the game. Only Gordon and Gray looked like they wanted to impact the game.

Cast your mind back to Chelsea away. The fans backed the players 100% and that was only a draw!

The fans can vent as much as they like. We aren't soft, we are watching truly awful football served up by an ex red that has a history against us. What do people expect?

I don't recall too man red shites taking the piss last year under Ancelotti. Fear was creeping in amongst them. Just a shame Moshiri pulled the purse strings as it I think Carlo could be have given us a fighting chance against the big boys. Fast forward 12 months and look at the shit show we are witnessing.

Winning papers over an awful lot of cracks. Once / if we start winning I expect the calls to sack the manager to simmer in the background.

Dave 159, Tony 164.
I really do hope that your right and the rest of us are over reacting. I am struggling to see it.

Usually at this time of year a team sinks like a stone whilst the relegation fight hots up. I hope that we are at the bottom of a bad run and we can now start picking up results. I am not even bothered how we do it.

Once we are safe we can all look forward to more of the same next season and the new 28 campaign.

Dave Abrahams
182 Posted 15/01/2022 at 10:18:30
I think if Everton’s results go against us in the next couple of games the fans who want Ferguson to be given the job might get offered the position, some might say to that” be careful what you wish for”. I’d say “ God help us” please.
Danny O’Neill
183 Posted 15/01/2022 at 11:04:17
That's exactly the problem Brian.

We keep targeting the wrong target; the manager.

If we go with Ferguson Dave, I predict our very own Solskaer / Lampard scenario, but maybe not as long.

Keep the tradition and brand. Change the culture and mentality.

Dave Abrahams
184 Posted 15/01/2022 at 11:39:50
Ron (181), I honestly don’t think fans are over reacting,as you say loads of Everton fans know the score and are obviously not happy with the situation that’s far enough, all I’m doing is putting mitigation points in view because I think they need consideration and I’m asking that the manager be given more tie than six months to sort it out, starting with a win today.
Len Hawkins
185 Posted 15/01/2022 at 11:53:58
If Benitez was sacked then I would have no hesitation in getting Rooney and Ferguson working together. I read earlier that Rooney has blown a head gasket over Derby putting one of his better players up for sale.

I know the league table does not echo this but he has done a fantastic job with Derby this season he has clawed back the minus points he was dealt and if they were playing in a normal situation they would be in play-off contention.

Him and Big Dunc are like Granite and will take no bull from anyone and the one think that this team needs is a good old fashioned arse-kicking, not snidey digs at players, like Benitez.

Moshiri is a rank amateur in the hardest league in the world and Kenwright is... well, Kenwright – a good cry and everything will be okay. I'm not a psychiatrist but I think Freud would have struggled to make sense of him.

There are some very knowledgeable people on here and I could see a book "How to run a football club in the Premier League from an Evertonian viewpoint" would be a best seller and tiny tears could put on a West End show on how two clowns can demolish a football Institution he could play the white one with the big pointed hat.

Danny O’Neill
186 Posted 15/01/2022 at 12:14:42
Ferguson would be a no for me. Another interim stint at best whilst we found someone if it had to come to that.

But I don't think changing managers again is the solution to change. Real change.

Rooney is interesting. I just hope if he is to be a future Everton manager, he gets time to prove himself and we get time to assess his suitability.

And that will be unpalatable for some as it will mean our current manager weather's the storm.

And wins th FA Cup.

Darren Hind
188 Posted 15/01/2022 at 13:39:33
"Keep the tradition and Brand".

That's exactly what we would be doing by appointing Ferguson. Everton have never been successful without an ex player at the helm. Not ever... And we have never won a brass Razoo with one of the many Flavour of the Month charlatans.

I simply don't understand the clamour for costly parasites whose failure is infinitely predictable. They have always, always fallen way short of the adequate Nor do I understand the determination of some to decry the only thing which has ever succeeded.

This club doesn't just need a leader who doesn't mind the occasional win. It needs somebody who really cares and has a burning desire to win.

Everton FC will never be successful until the board and the fans remember who and what we are.

Dave Ganley
189 Posted 15/01/2022 at 13:51:13
Martin #177,

I fully appreciate your sentiment and it's not something I do at the game during it, but can you blame the fans for booing? Since Moyes left, and you can argue Martinez's first season, we have witnessed utter dire football and more to the point, losing football. We have gone from being competitive to being whipping boys.

When we should have been looking for an upgrade on Moyes, someone to take us to the next level, Kenwright went for a relegated manager and it's just gone downhill from there. We are back to how we were in the late '90s – rudderless, playing bland losing football and looking a million miles away from being competitive.

The frustration at the owner and deadweight chairman allowing this to happen again is palpable. Allied to the fact Liverpool are winning again, then you have a recipe for no patience from some fans. It's criminal we are back in this state... 27 years without a trophy, no real prospect of gaining one any time soon.

Sorry, Danny, I admire your optimism that, come May, we will be at Wembley (I do hope you're right but I just can't see it), it's a shit state of affairs and the fans are the least of the problems. They should be commended for packing the Old Lady every game and also the long-suffering away fans.

Give us a team that cares and the fans will respond. Give us a bunch of mercenaries, most of whom couldn't give a shit and go through the motions, and this is what you deservedly get.

Graeme Beresford
190 Posted 15/01/2022 at 16:55:28
@147 Rob


Colin Metcalfe
191 Posted 15/01/2022 at 20:31:08
Well, like some people above predicted, we did lose... so the question is, for those posters still backing Rafa:

Are you still prepared to give him more time?

Jim Wilson
192 Posted 15/01/2022 at 21:47:16
Colin 191,

There are some people who have made comments above who will feel foolish but will never admit it. They will return once again to slag off the next good opinion, like they have always done.

I just hope we can find 7 more Premier League wins. Benitez won't so good luck to his replacement.

Jim Wilson
193 Posted 16/01/2022 at 15:58:56
A good way to end this post is that he has gone - and good riddance to the worst manager in Evertons history.
Steve Brown
194 Posted 16/01/2022 at 16:05:22
Well said Jim, you were proven entirely correct in your article.
Jim Wilson
195 Posted 17/01/2022 at 14:03:11
Thanks Steve

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