- Everton suffered a 1-0 loss to Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday
- Traveling fans express their fury over the known outcome from a distant section
- But Rafa Benitez faces more problems ahead of tour of rivals Liverpool
- Blues boss is unpopular at Goodison, but must deal with club issues first
There was no fury in Hale like visiting Everton fans when his team let him down, and Sunday’s away section at Brentford was particularly voluminous.
This latest 1-0 loss means Rafa Benitez’s side have taken two points from the last 21 and the poor nature of the performance could not have come at a worse time, arriving at free-scoring neighbors Liverpool at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Benitez, who has been swimming against the tide of public opinion, will remain firmly in the limelight as he tackles his former club for the first time as the Blue, but Everton’s problems run deeper – far deeper than those of an unpopular manager. are deep.
Sportsmail analyzes what’s going wrong.
Rafael Benitez faces more problems at Everton than being an unpopular manager
Traveling Blues fans put their side after the 1-0 loss to Brentford
There’s a basic rule of thumb in football that runs from bottom to top: If you have a team with the right players and bring in the right characters, your chances of progress go up significantly. Everton have been making mistake after mistake for five and a half years.
Steve Walsh was the club’s first director of football to be appointed in the summer of 2016 as Ronald Koeman was named manager, but he was released from prison two years later. The club’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, considered Unai Emery and Sevilla’s Monchi for those respective roles.
Walsh’s magic was riddled with costly mistakes. But his successor, Marcel Brands, has done little to improve things since he was drafted from PSV Eindhoven three years ago – yet he was rewarded with a new contract earlier this summer. He is definitely in the line of fire.
The Toffees have showered cash, but major Marcel Brands (R) has made more misses than hits
Everton have spent big and handed out big contracts to players who have done little to improve the club’s situation – the biggest generosity was last summer’s wages for James Rodriguez, which totaled more than £12 million a year. He rarely gave the impression that he was committed.
But another example of how embroiled Everton is in the transfer market is in this story of how Alex Iwobi was signed in August 2019.
This is no reflection on Iwobi. He was on holiday in Dubai after playing in the Africa Cup of Nations, and was preparing to return to Arsenal. Yet in the final hours of the transfer window, in a desperate need to find a right-sided player, Everton paid an initial £28m without meeting him in person.
The deal was done in conjunction with calls, FaceTime and medical records that were hastily emailed. It should have been even milder—feelings that applied to all of his behavior.
payment of penalty
Benitez has not benefited from the millions Moshiri made available to his four previous permanent managers – Koman, Sam Allardice, Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti. It is unrealistic to expect Everton to make a big difference in fortunes with an outlay of £1.7m.
He would love to sign Burnley’s Dwight McNeill but he never came close to agreeing a fee. Denzel Dumfries, the Dutch international, was considered, but an initial £12m price tag was beyond his limits, while Rangers were out of reach just behind Nathan Patterson (£8m).
So far, Benitez has had to stop-gap signings – free transfers of Salomon Rondon, Asmir Begovic, Andros Townsend and Andy Lonergan – from Bayer Leverkusen to Demarai Gray, but financial Fair Play restrictions mean nothing will change in January .
Benitez has no profit from millions of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri (pictured)
Demarai Gray was the only summer signing of the Toffees that didn’t arrive at Goodison for free.
cut and replace
There was a time – certainly when then-manager David Moyes was working closely with chairman Bill Kenwright – when the club had a quality that set them apart. If it needs a word, you can call it ‘Evertonism’. They had camaraderie and spirit and this helped them to progress.
However, Moshiri’s frequent layoffs and changing managers have created an environment that people seem to be passing through. Put it this way, many of the squad involved in Brentford may not have been hurt or feeling the frustrations of those who traveled through Merseyside.
Things are changing behind the scenes too, with Danny Donacchi – a popular figure with players – recently abruptly giving up his long-term position as head of medicine.
Everton were always dangerous when fans, teams and managers were together – the last real example of this was Duncan Ferguson’s brief caretaker two years ago – but the atmosphere at Goodison now seems rebellious.
When Everton lost 5–2 to Watford on 23 October, the team was ridiculed and teased for Benitez, but Brands, Moshiri and chief executive Dennis Barrett-Baxendale faced opposition from supporters in the main stand. Fans want a team they can believe in but currently they are miles away from it.
Benitez faced questions about his future with confidence last Friday. After a one-on-one meeting with Kenwright at the club’s Finch Farm training base, he insisted he had received assurances and the board understood how he had been treated.
However, it is inevitable that he will be able to do little to change the sentiments of fans whose views preceded his controversial appointment. They are not enjoying the football they are watching and have not hesitated to call it that.
Benitez has suffered the absence of star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season
The reason why there is so much anger at the moment is because for the first time many fans have started talking about the blame game. Everton should be nowhere near that scenario but need to pick up the pace.
Yes Benitez has been unlucky with injuries and the loss of their main striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been a big blow – he has only scored four times since late September – but those who see the country and travel and do so To spend a fortune. Enough.
Everton now face a demanding sequence of games and a more negative result will turn up the heat further. How Benitez needs to delve into his box of moves and conjure one of those performances that take him back from the edge.