football

Everton call emergency board meeting amid growing pressure on Rafa Benitez


The Toffees were embarrassed by Liverpool in Wednesday night’s Merseyside derby and are eight games without a win, leading to mounting pressure on the club’s Spanish manager

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In pictures: Everton v Liverpool

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has called an emergency board meeting with Rafa Benitez’s future high on the agenda.

Benitez is under mounting pressure at Goodison Park after a disastrous run of eight games without a win, including a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night.

There is growing concern among the hierarchy about the direction of the club and director of football Marcel Brands has flown back from Holland where he had been with family.

They are discussing the crisis on Friday at the club’s Finch Farm training ground with fans already in uproar with Everton just five points above the relegation zone.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is due to travel back from the United States this weekend to meet with board members and will also talk to Benitez ahead of Monday’s game with Arsenal.

They have got an unforgiving run of fixtures before Christmas as they face Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea and Crystal Palace and fans will be concerned they could soon drop further into trouble.

Moshiri has indicated that he is behind Benitez after sending a text to a radio presenter, claiming: “Rafa is a good manager and underperformance is largely due to injuries.”

But Everton fans were left furious after the Liverpool defeat and one even challenged Brands as he left the directors’ box and angrily told him to “get out of our club.”

Brands responded to the fan by asking: “Do you think it’s only the players?”

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Benitez saw his side thrashed by Liverpool in midweek
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Action Images via Reuters)

The unrest has only heightened the pressure on Benitez who was always a controversial appointment because of his Liverpool connections and previous success at Anfield.

Despite making a good start at Everton, their form has dipped badly and financial restrictions at the club after years of big money signings and contracts has left them unable to buy big again.

Benitez and the club’s hierarchy together with the recruitment are at the centre of the issues which has left the club deep in crisis.

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