Rafael Benitez was sacked on Sunday following a 2-1 loss in the hands of bottom-placed Norwich on Saturday.
It was Everton’s ninth loss in 13 league games, during which time they’ve won only once, drawing thrice. The Saturday loss left them just six points from relegation, leaving the Everton board of directors with no other option but to part ways with the former Liverpool manager.
There was a lot of controversy among Toffees faithful following Rafa’s appointment six months ago, with fans demonstrating outside Goodison Park to show their displeasure. It will be remembered that the Spaniard had previously managed cross-town rivals Liverpool, winning the European Champions League, a trophy that continues to be a far-fetched dream for Everton. He is on record calling Everton a ‘small club’ in 2007, something that disturbs most Everton fans to this date.
Following Rafa’s dismissal, all eyes will be on the man to take charge at Goodison Park for the rest of the season. The seat is already attracting several prospects, and we will be looking at some of the possible candidates. The club hierarchy is said to be weighing two men as potential Rafael Benitez successors.
Martinez managed Everton for three seasons between 2013 and 2016 before he was dismissed. It is believed that he enjoys massive support from the Everton board; therefore, he is touted strongly as the man to take over and propel the Merseysiders to a better finish in the Premier League.
However, the Spaniard is currently Belgium’s national team coach, where he has been for the last five years. He is under contract with the Red Devils until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Former Everton boy Duncan Ferguson’s name is also being mentioned as another possibility. The former striker has been involved in Everton’s first-team coaching since February 2014 and has previously taken charge of the side in 2019, albeit on a caretaker basis, following the dismissal of Marco Silva.
Ferguson took charge of four games as manager, recording three wins, a brilliant return for a somewhat rookie manager. He has since played as an assistant under the experienced Carlo Ancelotti and recently Rafael Benitez. A section of the Everton board is convinced this is the time to trust one of their own.
Other possible replacements
However, should things not work as planned, a list of other managers is on the cards. Former Toffee Wayne Rooney, currently managing Championship side Derby County could be considered according to a Thai news website. Before Manchester United snapped him, Rooney was a fan favorite at Goodison Park between 2002 and 2004. He went on to become Manchester United and England’s all-time leading scorer before he retired in the Championship in 2020.
There is a feeling among the Everton board that the vacant managerial seat could interest Rooney, given the current status of Derby County. The Rams are currently battling relegation in the Championship, after the administration threat and subsequent point-deduction earlier in the season.
Other names linked with the vacancy include former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, Sam Allardyce, former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, and Brighton’s boss Graham Potter.