It will come as no surprise to most that Everton manager Rafa Benitez is the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.
The 61-year-old was always facing an uphill battle due to his Liverpool connections and the current toxicity that is present at Goodison Park was an inevitability when their form first took a dip.
That has come sooner than perhaps some would’ve expected, having dropped to 14th in the Premier League table after a run of seven defeats in their last nine and one win in 10 across all competitions.
Paddy Power have him priced at 1/4 to become the seventh manager to lose his job this season, with almost a third of the teams in England’s top division having already made changes in their dugout.
Director of Football Marcel Brands has already lost his job at Goodison Park this season and there is now the feeling that Benitez could be next as they look to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle. Should yet another sacking occur, there are clearly plenty of punters who believe a romantic appointment could be in the works.
Wayne Rooney has fallen from 14/1 to 5/1 to be the next Everton manager in recent weeks, finding himself as the third favourite within the market. Clubs appointing former players as coaches has been a recent trend in the Premier League of late, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta all high-profile examples.
If Farhad Moshiri wants to get the fans back on side he could do much worse than giving the job to Rooney, a boyhood Evertonian who had two short stints at Goodison Park as a player. When it comes to patience and good will from the supporters, Benitez and Rooney are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum.
The 36-year-old has been thrown in at the deep end during his first management job with Derby County, who have made more headlines off the pitch for their financial troubles than for their play on it. Working under tight pursestrings, Rooney has still performed well at Pride Park, although multiple points deductions currently leaves the Rams doomed for relegation to League One.
They are currently 17 points adrift of safety, but would be 19th in the table if it wasn’t for their points deductions. That is despite the fact they were limited to only signing free transfers in the summer and lost a number of key players.
However, Rooney would hardly be walking into a dream scenario at Everton either. Their form has been poor and the squad is also suffering from previous poor investment that saw FFP deny them from spending significantly in the summer as they were forced to balance the books by UEFA’s controversial rules. His lack of experience may also work against him, something which ultimately led to the demise of the aforementioned Solskjaer and Lampard.
The idea of Rooney returning to Everton is tied up in romanticism, but it’s difficult to ignore the recent appointments that have followed a similar trend and the ominous feeling that it presents.
Full Next Everton Manager Odds
- Kasper Hjulmand – 3/1
- Nuno Espírito Santo – 9/2
- Wayne Rooney – 5/1
- Duncan Ferguson – 6/1
- Frank Lampard – 6/1
- Graham Potter – 9/1
- Scott Parker – 12/1
- Lucien Favre – 12/1
- Ernesto Valverde – 14/1
- Jose Mourinho – 14/1
- Paolo Fonseca – 16/1
- Thomas Frank – 20/1
- Michael Carrick – 20/1
- David Unsworth – 22/1
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 33/1
- Laurent Blanc – 33/1