Norwich City

Rafa Benitez sacked as Everton manager

Rafa Benitez has been sacked as Everton manager after just six-and-a-half months in charge of the club.

Our Everton FC correspondent Phil Kirkbride reported Benitez's job was hanging by a thread after the damaging 2-1 defeat at Norwich City on Saturday.

And now the Blues, and their majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, have decided to act, dismissing the former Liverpool boss with immediate effect.

Benitez is the fifth Everton manager in the last six years under Moshiri to lose his job after Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Marco Silva.

The 61-year-old Spaniard was a controversial appointment in June of last year, signing a three-year contract, after Carlo Ancelotti left his position as the club's manager to return to Real Madrid.

Benitez enjoyed an encouraging opening to his Goodison Park reign, with the 2-0 home win over Norwich City on September 25 leaving his side fifth in the early standings with 13 points from a possible 18.

But, while not helped by injuries and COVID cases, Everton's form has been dreadful since, amid growing fan unrest.

And their deeply disappointing defeat in the reverse fixture against Norwich on Saturday, at Carrow Road, means the Blues have now won just one of their last 13 Premier League matches.

That has left them 15th in the standings and just six points above the relegation places.

When asked about his future after the loss to Norwich, who had lost their last six league games without scoring, Benitez said: "I am a professional.

"I have enough experience and I came here to fix issues that, maybe, are coming from five years ago.

"I have to make sure I analyse these kinds of mistakes we are making and avoid that for the future.

"Other things are not in my hands. I have to do my job."

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