UPDATE: 2:54pm BST - Everton have confirmed that Rafa Benitez has been sacked.
Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benitez as first team manager.— Everton (@Everton) January 16, 2022
Looks like Benitez got even fewer words than Lucas Digne did.
Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benitez as First Team manager.
Benitez, who joined Everton in June 2021, has left the Club with immediate effect.
An update on a permanent replacement will be made in due course.
It’s looking like it's done, Rafa Benitez's short-lived tenure as Everton manager has come to an end.
The latest loss — 2-1 at Premier League bottom side Norwich City — appears to have been the breaking point for the Everton Board who decided to pull the trigger. The fans have had enough for long before this, with the poor football on display and repeated horrendous showings sparking protests both in person and online for weeks now. One win in thirteen games going all the way back to September speaks its own tale even as injuries have not helped the Spaniards cause.
Apparently the hold up now is that the club and the Manager's representatives are negotiating on compensation after mutually agreeing to part ways.
Everton board now pushing to sack Rafa Benitez immediately. Next steps before final decision is to find the right replacement and agree on compensation. #EFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 15, 2022
Nothing official yet - but the plan is to fire the Spanish manager, as first reported by @David_Ornstein today. pic.twitter.com/rfqituIVZg
Everton and Rafa Benitez are now negotiating a compensation package with administrative details being finalised, ahead of an official announcement of his departure https://t.co/2zTE9Wfoma— The Bobble (@ElBobble) January 15, 2022
His background and previous comments about Everton aside, plenty of fans were surprised that the former Liverpool and Newcastle manager was brought back in from the footballing wilderness of China to ply his trade in the top tier again.
The Toffees got the season off to a good start but untimely injuries, COVID, questionable squad selection, and archaic tactics have put paid to Benitez’s time on the blue half of Merseyside.
There was also the whole matter of the feud with Lucas Digne, driving the France international to departure following a vocal disagreement over strategy during training, which did not win him any more fans. Individual mistakes have continued to doom this side week in, week out and Benitez’s utter inability to coach this team likely means he had lost the dressing room some time ago.