Blame placed elsewhere as Everton chief answers Rafa Benitez sack claims

Date published: Thursday 2nd December 2021 1:56 - James Marshment

Rafa Benitez, new Everton boss during his Newcastle days

Rafael Benitez has been told he is not in any immediate danger of the sack at Everton after Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri handed the Spaniard a massive vote of confidence.

Benitez’s arrival on June 30 wasn’t exactly met with great pleasure from the Toffees faithful. The Spaniard is a Liverpool legend, having guided Everton’s rivals to the Champions League crown in 2005 and an FA Cup the following year.

Benitez also seemed to claim that Everton were a ‘small club’ during his time at Anfield, although he has since attempted to explain the jibe.

And with the Toffees suffering a 4-1 trouncing at the hands of Liverpool on Wednesday, speculation on Benitez being sacked has been cranked up.

Liverpool fans took great joy in their win, chanting ‘Rafa’s at the wheel’, during a record-breaking night at Goodison.

And with a report stating a possible timeframe by which he faces the sack, Moshiri has come out to insist Benitez deserves more time.

Furthermore, speaking to talkSPORT, he feels Everton’s slide down the table is due to the number of injuries at the club.

“Football is about crisis one day and glory the following day. Rafa is a good manager and underperformance is largely due to the injuries,” Moshiri said.

“(Over the) next two weeks, we will get to a full squad and, in the meantime, results will improve.

“Rafa needs time to have his mark on the squad. He will be supported to add depth to the squad. Managers need time. I have no doubt that we will have a strong second half to the season.”

Moshiri has spent over £500million on players since arriving in 2016. The club, however, appear in a worse state than ever before.

Benitez said: “The difference is we are selling players and making big profits and investing the money. So in our case you cannot blame the owner for spending money.

“I have been in Newcastle and the owner wasn’t spending money. In January, hopefully the team are not depending on two or three players coming back as we are at the moment.

“January is a difficult window and there are not too many players available. But when you have money to spend, you have to do it properly.”

Benitez sack not on manager’s mind

Benitez is clinging to the hope the effort his players are putting in will somehow get them through.

However, he remains seriously short of quality while he awaits the return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The England striker has not played since August 28 due to a thigh problem.

“I think it is important to understand what you are expecting when I came here,” he added.

“Everyone was telling me the fans are expecting the players will give everything.

“Then after that you have to compare this team missing three key players (Calvert-Lewin, Mina and the recently-returned Abdoulaye Doucoure).

“Any team missing three key players for a period of time – players who were scoring goals last season – and making mistakes in defence will lose.

“The only way for us is to get these players coming back and recover mentally.

“I still have confidence we can do well.”

EXCLUSIVE: In-form striker preparing for January move with Everton among leading suitors

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