Star man urged to pick up Everton slack and placate growing Benitez unrest

Everton boss Rafael Benitez during their match against Watford, October 2021

Tim Sherwood feels Everton fans are not buying into the Rafa Benitez way and has urged Richarlison to step up and help out his manager.

Benitez was a controversial choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park. The Spaniard knew that positive results was the way to curtail the backlash. And things began well as the Merseysiders won four and drew one of their first six top-flight games.

However, they have now hit the buffers, with just two points from their last five matches. They have slipped to 11th in the table and there are signs of unrest among the supporters.

Scoring goals has been the problem, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin still out of action. The England man has been sidelined since August 6 with a thigh injury.

Everton have scored just four goals in their last five league outings. They managed to hold Tottenham to a 0-0 draw last time out.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates against Leeds, August 2021

Sherwood is unsure that the former Real Madrid chief’s footballing philosophy is the right fit for the club. But he feels an international striker of Richarlison’s experience needs to be making a bigger impact.

“Rafa prides himself on keeping clean sheets, keeping it nice and tight and counter-attacking,” he told Sky Sports (via HITC). “But, unfortunately, it’s not what the Everton fans want to see.

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“They want to see a team on the front foot, [playing at] 100 miles an hour, loads of tackles flying around, getting the ball wide, putting it in the box, filling up the box with attacking threats, and at the moment they’re not being able to do that.

“Yes, Calvert-Lewin’s out injured. Richarlison has to start stepping up to the mark. “

Jury still out on Benitez

Benitez was not first choice to take the Everton job. His Liverpool connection made it tough for some Evertonians to take.

He needs to turn things around quickly but faces a tough trip to the Etihad to play Manchester City on Sunday. There have been some positives. But Sherwood believes the fans want more from their team.

Richarlison argues with his Everton teammates about taking the penalty against Brighton, August 2021

“We saw Demarai Gray has been brilliant since he come into the club with Andros Townsend,” he added. “Gives them a threat, but it’s not enough, it’s not what they demand there.”

Richarlison was heavily linked with Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. But the French giants reportedly no longer want the South American.

He has scored two top-flight goals from seven outings this term.

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