Greg O’Keeffe has been speaking on the All Together Now podcast about how certain players are undermining Rafael Benitez.
The Spaniard made the bold decision recently to leave Lucas Digne out of the matchday squad after the two had a spat behind closed doors, with Benitez insisting that the full-back had to start putting the team first.
Should Everton sack Benitez?
More recently, during their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, Benitez made yet another bold move, this time to substitute Richarlison off for the misfiring Salomon Rondon, and although the striker would go on to net his first goal for the club, Richarlison’s reaction was not a happy one as it was clear for everyone to see that he was not happy to be hooked off.
Benitez did speak to Sky Sports after the defeat about the change, which saw Everton fans boo the decision. He insisted that he can’t explain to fans every detail about what happens and also said that Richarlison had a calf injury, which was why he came off early.
O’Keeffe has been speaking about Richarlison being subbed off.
“If you believe Rafa, he’d have said at half time, I think there’s an issue with your calf, and you might have to come off, [and Richarlison says] ‘oh, give me five minutes’. He does, and then decides he’s not contributing, brings him off, and Richarlison reacts like that.
“So there’s even more issues for Rafa, because he’s getting undermined by another key player. It’s not Lucas Digne spitting his dummy out, it’s Richarlison effectively making a show of him on the pitch.”
TIF Thoughts on Benitez potentially being undermined…
It’s not a great look for Benitez if two of the bigger names at Everton are not reacting well to his decisions, especially when he already has a fight on his hands to get the fans to like him and give him time to turn the club around given his Liverpool connection.
However, with Everton having stuttered over the last few years on the pitch, it might be best for the Toffees to offload some of these players who have been here throughout all the managers that have been sacked as they could well be the problem within the dressing room and on the pitch rather than the boss.