Are Benitez rumours a smokescreen for another candidate?

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
4 Min Read

The rumours of Rafa Benitez becoming Everton manager are continuing although other names are still in the frame, apparently, so could these stories about Benitez be a sort of smokescreen covering for another candidate about to be announced?

I’m not being overly conspiritorial here but Everton are renowned for keeping their cards close to their chest and sometimes they surprise us with decisions or player transfers. So might this be the case once again as we wait for who will be the next Toffees manager?

I say this as well because when you see the reaction within both the mainstream and social media circus to a possible Benitez appointment, the response from Evertonians is overwhelmingly negative.

That doesn’t mean Farhad Moshiri won’t or shouldn’t still go ahead with Benitez, if he believes it’s right, but it does represent a huge risk to him and one that if it backfired, would surely permanently and probably fatally, damage his relationship with the supporters.

It would be a massive call from the owner and I can’t remember a situation similar to this at any other English football club, ever. So could it be they are just putting this out and then while the predictable reaction follows they are looking at others? Perhaps I’m giving the club too much credit here!

Because in many ways the Blues are going about this with a similar lack of focus to when Carlo Ancelotti was appointed, although it’s not exactly the same situation of course.

At the time Marco Silva was sacked there was a sense that having lost the man he had previously most wanted, Moshiri was back to square one and both he and the board were under a lot of pressure to get the next manager right.

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Then as now there was support within boardroom circles for former manager David Moyes (and that is most likely Bill Kenwright) and a sense of confusion about what direction the club were taking, with the position of Marcel Brands uncertain in all this. That sounds very familiar now doesn’t it.

In a major difference, eighteen months ago there was a clear favourite in Ancelotti once he had left Napoli, although the Blues were competing with Arsenal for the Italian coach’s signature with Mikel Arteta in contention for both jobs too.

It was very uncertain who would win this battle and it wasn’t finally cleared up until Ancelotti drove into Goodison Park that Saturday lunchtime in late December. Although the rumorus were strong that in fact the Toffees had got the man Moshiri always wanted, no one believed it until he walked through the doors at the Grand Old Lady that day.

Ironically the opponents that day were Arsenal, where Arteta went, and both new managers watched their new teams play out a dull 0-0 draw. Of course after what has since happened you can’t help thinking maybe Everton would have been better off ending up with Arteta.

Anyway, the lack of certainty over this current appointment continues and so it’s just possible the club has a surprise in store for us. As I’m writing there is news breaking that perhaps Spurs’ talks with Paulo Fonseca have broken down so could he be the man for the job.. more to follow.

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