• Harry Dimond

RAFA'S ROUGH START: The collapse of Everton AGAIN and what’s going wrong

Over the years Everton Football Club have been seemingly a club recognised as underachieving, and despite having Rafa Benitez at the helm are Everton collapsing once again?

After 11 games into the premier league season Rafa Benitez has picked up 15 points from a possible 33 as Everton sit 11th in the premier league table, with the new Everton boss having had a mediocre start to life with the Toffees.

Rafa’s reign at Everton began with some key signings for Everton’s campaign with Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend both joining for a combined £1.8 million.

Once again Everton got off to a flying start to a premier league season as they picked up 10 points from 12 after an opening day win against Southampton as they beat the saints 3-1.

A 2-2 draw against Leeds set the Toffees back a bit but they soon picked up back-to-back wins against Brighton and Burnley with new signings Townsend and Gray setting Goodison alight.

Deja-vu loomed as the four-game curse struck Everton for a second consecutive season as they picked up four points from their next 6 premier league games but why has the collapse started once again?

It’s been a tough time for Toffee fans since the Departure of David Moyes in 2013, having gone through 5 other managers the blue men of Merseyside just can’t seem to get it to click.

Benitez hasn’t been exactly lucky with injuries as Everton front man Dominic Calvert-Lewin picked up a thigh injury which will see him supposedly return in December but there was another setback for the former Newcastle United manager as Frenchman Abdoulaye Doucoure picked up a foot injury in the blues 1-0 home loss to West Ham.

The midfielder has been key for Benitez this season producing two goals and four assists in the league which has been a superior improvement compared to the entirety of the 20/21 season already in 21 games fewer.

The poor run really started at Villa Park against Aston Villa as they got a second half blitz from Dean Smith’s men as Leon Bailey starred in a 3-0 defeat for Everton.

A 2-0 win against a struggling Norwich City and 1-1 draw away to a dreary Manchester United helped revamp the Toffees but the struggles soon returned as West Ham picked up a rare win at Goodison Park resulting in their first home loss of the season and in it Doucoure’s unfortunate luck.

Following this Benitez looked to bounce back against Watford.

All was looking tense at 2-1 up through an early goal from Tom Davies and a second-half header from former Watford man Richarlison who had just returned from his injury, former Everton man Joshua King who was already on the scoresheet was waiting to haunt his former club.

With 12 minutes plus added time left Everton’s collapse began.

As Claudio’s Ranieri’s men ran out 5-2 winners with Joshua King scoring a 6-minute brace and Nigerian international Emmanuel Dennis starring as well.

King had already scored more goals in this game then he did in the 11 premier league appearances he made for Everton not scoring on a single occasion.

Eyebrows began to raise for Benitez and being a former Liverpool man as well the loss didn’t go down well for the Everton fans.

The Spaniard couldn’t bounce back from this disastrous defeat as they lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on a gloomy Monday night.

But for the Everton fan’s collapsing in a season is all too familiar following last season.

The 2020/21 premier league season looked hopeful for Everton under Carlo Ancelotti after one of their biggest transfer windows which included signings such as Ben Godfrey from Norwich, Allan from Italian side Napoli and James Rodriguez after a big move from Real Madrid.

After four games into the new season, they saw themselves top of the table and a new era was looking positive for the blues.

However, the season took a dark turn as they saw themselves finishing the season in 10th place with an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to already relegated Sheffield United as record-breaking 17-year-old Daniel Jebbison humiliated Carlo’s men becoming the youngest player to score on his first premier league start.

This end to the season saw Carlo once again turn his head to Spanish giants Real Madrid where he has had a positive start to his second spell with Los Blanco’s as they top La Liga after 12 games.

This departure left the Everton fans frustrated and angry at the Italian’s decision.

With the controversial appointment of Benitez, it caused a stir with Everton’s bitter rivals Liverpool, but can the Spaniard replicate what was once a joyous time for the Toffee’s and bounce back from this poor run of form.

The Blue men of Merseyside faced newly appointed Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte last Sunday and a 0-0 draw will likely go down better for Everton than their opposition. Could this single point be the start of Everton’s bounce back from this early collapse?