Everton manager Rafa Benitez is hurtling towards the sack if he doesn’t turn things around sooner rather than later at Goodison Park.
The Toffees were alarmingly poor on Saturday afternoon against a Norwich side that has at times this season looked hellbent on setting a new all-time low Premier League points record.
And The Athletic report that Benitez’s time may be up and that he could be sacked before their game next week against Aston Villa.
A stoppage time win over Arsenal more than a month ago, and bizarrely a draw against Chelsea, are the big anomalies in Everton’s results over the last three months, pushing them down the table. Six points above the relegation zone is a precarious position to be in at this stage of the season.
The Norwich game has made it nine defeats in 13 games for Benitez’s side since they beat the Canaries in the reverse fixture back in September. Considering that the season started so well, despite the initial opposition to Benitez, it is an awful collapse.
There was every chance that Benitez, the ultimate Premier League pragmatist as shown during his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and even Newcastle, could have finally been the coach to get the best out of Everton and end years of punching below their weight.
The results haven’t matched up with that vision and fans are increasingly making their disdain for the Spaniard known. At Carrow Road, there was again a banner that read ‘get out of our club’, while one irate fan even tried to confront Benitez on the pitch before being stopped by security.
Everton lacked quality and fight against Norwich. Andre Gomes was woeful, Abdoulaye Doucoure was too quiet, so was Demarai Gray. Their best attacking asset for much of the contest seemed to be the hard tireless running of Anthony Gordon, never enough to crack a resilient opponent.
Defensively, Everton are making basic mistakes not characteristic of a Benitez team. Both goals conceded would have been avoidable with smarter positioning and better awareness. Once Norwich led 2-0 it was always going to be an uphill battle – the fact they actually had a chance of snatching a point thanks to a Richarlison stunner was rather undeserved in the end.
Benitez has to at least get Everton defending properly. They haven’t even got a chance if they can’t do that, and he may not get the time to rectify these mistakes.