Everton

Everton

Premier League • England

‘Mind-blowing’ decision reveals core Everton problems beyond Benitez fiasco

Neil Foster
Rafael Benitez speaking to Everton pair Lucas Digne and Demarai Gray

Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson feels the decision to sell Lucas Digne and then sack Rafa Benitez proves there are deep-rooted problems at Everton.

The Toffees are once again on the lookout for a new manager after parting company with Benitez on Sunday, The Spaniard was never a popular choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti due to his Liverpool connections. And the writing was on the wall when results began to take a turn for the worse.

Many names have been mentioned in connection with the vacant Goodison Park post. Former Blues striker and current Derby County boss Wayne Rooney is among them.

But it seems as though ex-Everton chief Roberto Martinez is the Merseyside outfit’s preferred choice. Whoever is recruited, it needs to be the right man this time around to arrest the decline.

Left-back Digne was sold to Aston Villa earlier this month after falling out with Benitez. And Robinson believes the way he was let go just days before his manager was jettisoned smacks of a club in turmoil.

“I’m amazed at what’s happened this season and especially with Digne,” he told Football Insider. “He is one of the best left-backs in Europe going forward. One of the reasons he left was his relationship with the manager and then days later, the manager is sacked. It’s mind-blowing.

“The club has got problems at its core. This is a club that has spent half a billion since 2016 and is no better for it.”

Benitez a ‘dead man walking’

Benitez was on a hiding to nothing as soon as he set foot in the Everton dugout. Only a spectacular set of results would appease the long-suffering home faithful.

Should Everton go for stretched Martinez or green Rooney

Both are good options but come with their downsides.

Four wins and a draw from the first six games was an encouraging start but proved a false dawn. One win in 13 top-flight outings has seen them plunge to 16th in the standings, six points above the drop zone.

There are multiple issues for the next man to sort out. And Robinson feels it is not just Benitez who is to blame for the current malaise.

“They have had [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Ronaldo] Koeman and Benitez, who are all so-called ‘world-class managers’, he added. “The money wasted has been nothing short of phenomenal. When you compare the spends of Liverpool and Everton it tells you everything you need to know.

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney on the touchline during the Sky Bet Championship match at Pride Park

“Benitez was never the right fit. From the start, he was not the right fit. It just did not sit right with anybody.”

READ MORE: Pundit slams Benitez ‘disaster’ as Richard Keys names leftfield choice for Everton