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How Benitez compares against Everton’s last five managers

Comparing the gaffer’s recent record with the five managers that left before him

Brentford v Everton - Premier League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Should Rafa Benitez be sacked on the basis of recent results?

Given the depressing run of results we are currently having to endure and the murmurs about Rafa Benitez getting sacked gathering volume, I had a look at the last 10 competitive games of each of Everton’s last 5 permanent managers and compared them to our current situation.

With the Blues about to play a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park that they are heavily expected to lose, word from certain quarters is that Benitez could be let go just months after taking over at the Toffees, despite the fact that doing so would dig Everton even deeper into the financial hole that they are currently in. There is also something to be said about the cruel hand Benitez has been dealt by both fate (the horrific run of injuries the Blues have had) and by the Board (virtually no money to spend in the summer transfer market).

Now statistics tell you only so much as those with good memories may testify. I have, for ease put all 6 (including Benitez) dismal runs in “best” performing (if that’s what you can call it) order.

Everton Manager Records

Manager Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Points*
Manager Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Points*
Allardyce 4 3 3 12 11 15
Ancelotti 3 4 3 7 11 13
Silva 3 1 6 13 18 10
Koeman 2 2 6 11 22 8
Martinez 1 3 6 6 18 6
Benitez 1 2 7 8 18 5
Everton manager records (last ten games of their tenure)

Note: Some points are virtual since these results include Cup games

Now keen followers of our current malaise will have not been surprised that propping up that untidy pile of managers is Rafa Benitez. The rest of the information might surprise some hence my reason for pointing out about how statistics only tell some of the story.

My recollection — and it’s only 3 years ago — is that the greatest supporter clamour to remove a manager was for Sam Allardyce. Maybe it’s to do with the argument of style over substance, I remember it just wasn’t the “Everton way”. He’d been brought in after Ronald Koeman to keep us up and to be fair he did just that and as the stats show his results were on the face of it okay, it just “wasn’t Everton”. Not that I would suggest a re-hire but statistically he comes out better than Carlo Ancelotti who left voluntarily for Real Madrid since in his words “it is better to drive a Ferrari than a Fiat”.

Similar rising discontent happened in Roberto Martinez’s last weeks in 2016 and yet his first 18 months had been good and his final output was marginally better than our current run with Benitez.

What role have Merseyside Derby defeats had in previous sackings?

In those last 10 game series Koeman was lucky not to have faced Liverpool as his 2017 team full of number 10’s were shockingly bad, especially defensively. For Martinez (a 4-0 away defeat) and Silva (a 5-2 home defeat) I would say the losses were major factors in their demise. Allardyce, on the other hand got a very creditable 0-0 draw in his last run of games. Ancelotti, as we all know, “walked” and in fairness he did achieve the seemingly impossible with a victory in his last Derby game against our neighbours. So, the next game is the dreaded Derby once again unless the severe weather mercifully intervenes....

So, put like that it IS as desperate as it looks. Even ignoring the horrible run of games that we have to face there’s a big game on Wednesday that might have a bearing on what is to come, the rumour machine is well cranked.

Every true Evertonian wants to see this run turned around and we hope that returning absentees like Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Yerry Mina can help but, on paper, against an average Brentford side, we were only short of three first teamers.

Manchester City v Everton - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Is the issue deeper than just a few injuries?

Managers come and go, sometimes the stats around their performance say everything was rosy when it clearly wasn’t (Allardyce) but when they’re as stark as they are now we have a good idea of what is to happen.

For Benitez though, the injuries have struck in quick succession and Everton’s squad depth is virtually non-existent, something that previous managers have struggled with as well. Where they might have had bigger squads, the quality outside of the starting XI has been weak pretty much the entire millennium so far.

The fact that the Spaniard was given virtually no funds to spend during the summer transfer window only deepens his plight, though you would have to believe that he knew what he was getting into when he decided as a former Liverpool boss to take over at an Everton side that are hamstrung by the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

That also brings up the point about continuity. We cannot keep changing managers every season and somehow think that we will build a coherent team from that. If the worst does end up happening for Benitez, there must be an element of sympathy for anyone trying to manage with one or both hands tied behind their back.