Rafa Benitez’s short tenure as the manager of Everton could already be coming to a conclusion after a run of poor results in the Premier League.
According to Football Insider, the 61-year-old was facing the sack yesterday and it would very much depend on the outcome of the Merseyside derby.
Thus, a heavy defeat against fierce rivals, Liverpool, which extended the Toffees’ winless run to eight games would hardly have helped proceedings.
Director of football Marcel Brands is also believed to be in a precarious position following a string of ill-advised purchases in recent years, with a ‘power struggle’ in the boardroom coming to a head.
The report states that: “Everton could sack Rafael Benitez or Marcel Brands by the end of the week in what would be a sensational development.
“An Everton source has told Football Insider that there is a power struggle behind the scenes of the club that has intensified during the team’s recent woeful run.”
Benitez’s arrival in the summer was met with some opposition by Everton supporters due to his close ties with local rivals Liverpool, but he got off to a good start at Goodison Park.
A run of just one defeat in their opening seven top-flight fixtures had the Blues dreaming of a genuine European push in the opening weeks of the campaign.
However, injuries to key players such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina and Abdoulaye Doucoure brutally exposed their lack of squad depth and over-reliance on individual talent.
Wednesday’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool means Everton have now failed to claim a victory since 25 September, scoring just five goals and conceding 17 in the subsequent eight games.
Their recent slump has dropped Benitez’s charges down to 14th in the Premier League standings, hovering five points above the relegation zone, although 18th-placed Burnley have a game in hand.
With a tricky run of fixtures ahead against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City, things could get worse for Everton if they don’t make a change, potentially prompting the board into action.
Thus, should they decide to get rid of Benitez, it will surely leave fans buzzing. After all, they were already sceptical about his appointment when he first arrived at Goodison.