Despite taking a point at Stamford Bridge last night, Everton have been struggling to find consistency in the Premier League this season, with just one win and three losses in their last five games, but with so much fan ire directed at Rafael Benitez, is the Spaniard truly to blame?
“I’m looking at Everton, I’m thinking they have spent money in the past and they’re finding it really hard to get players out.”
However, after a draw at Chelsea on Thursday evening with up to 12 players missing from the Everton squad due to an outbreak in the camp and injuries, Benitez should be looking safer in his position than he was after the Toffees’ poor performance against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Everton have spent over £500 million since the arrival of owner, Farhad Moshiri in 2016, with five different managers appointed and the signing of more than 30 players in this time, but absolutely no progress – Everton sit in 14th in the Premier League with only five wins from seventeen so far this season.
The most recent behind the scenes drama at the club was the departure of sporting director, Marcel Brands, after three and a half years with the club. In a statement, Brands made it clear that he and the board had a “difference in the vision” for Everton.
“The board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction for this beautiful club and, with that in mind, the decision was taken.”
The idea that Benitez can be blamed for the demise of Everton this season is hardly fair – the manager has only worked with the club for one transfer window, joining Everton in July 2021 and spending pennies in comparison to his predecessors.
Benitez has also nabbed one of the most cost effective and influential signings for the club in a while, with the addition of Demarai Gray at Goodison Park for just £1.8 million, who has since become a key player in the side’s more successful moments this season.
The 25 year old has scored five goals and bagged two assists so far this term for the Toffees, currently joint top goal scorer for the club alongside Andros Townsend, who was brought into the club on a free transfer by Benitez in the summer.
The connection to Liverpool FC is the clear reason why Benitez is unfavourable for the role in Everton management, which is understandable from a fan perspective, but he is evidently making positive steps forward in ending Everton’s reckless spending and could really benefit from being able to work his magic in the January transfer window, both getting rid of players and bringing in new talent to steer Everton in the right direction in the second half of the season.
In other news: Mason Holgate failed Rafa Benitez v Chelsea