Premier League • England

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

Rafa Benitez Everton

Everton took a big risk by appointing Rafael Benitez as manager and he has only caused disaster after disaster at the club, one pundit has said.

The Toffees started the season strongly under the Spanish manager after their shock swoop for him. They won four out of their first five Premier League games and therefore sat fifth.

However, since the last win in that sequence against Burnley in mid-September, Everton have only won two of the last 15. As such, they now sit 16th, only six points off the bottom three.

And Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to then-bottom side Norwich was the final straw for Benitez, who got the sack on Sunday.

Further incidents have marred the 61-year-old’s time in charge. A falling out with senior left-back Lucas Digne saw him leave and sign for Aston Villa. What’s more, former director of football Marcel Brands quit.

“The word is shambles,” pundit Noel Whelan told Football Insider.

“I really feel sorry for the Everton fans at the moment. The amount of money that has been wasted at that club, the number of players they’ve brought in – what’s happening is unbelievable, it’s just been one disaster after another.

“Bringing Benitez in was a risk in itself, and it really hasn’t paid off. As a result, they’ve lost the director of football in Brands and one of your best players and fan favourite in Digne. He’s caused a lot of damage.

Should Everton go for stretched Martinez or green Rooney

Should Everton go for stretched Martinez or green Rooney

Both are good options but come with their downsides.

“Can it get any worse for them? Where they are in the table really reflects what is going on off the pitch right now.

“The next manager has to be the right one. They could well be fighting right up until the end of the season to stay in the division. It could be about to get even worse.”

Everton confirmed in their statement that they would be making another permanent appointment to succeed Benitez.

The Toffees have reportedly made an approach to bring Roberto Martinez back to Goodison Park. According to Richard Keys, though, Everton should target West Ham boss David Moyes – another former manager at the club.

Everton should go after David Moyes

David Moyes during Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham

Broadcaster Keys wrote in his column: “If I were [Everton owner Farhad] Moshiri I’d be testing West Ham’s desire to hold onto David Moyes.

“I’ve no idea if Moyes would take it – bearing in mind he’s shaken hands with Moshiri previously – only for Carlo Ancelotti to be appointed 48 hours later.

“Moyes loves it at West Ham – but he’s a Toffee at heart.”

Moyes is in is second spell with the Hammers and has fared much better this time around.

In fact, he has West Ham in the Europa League knockout stages and firmly in the hunt for a Premier League top-four place.