By Nick Ware

26th Jun, 2021 | 3:10pm

Neville Southall reacts as Rafa Benitez move to Everton draws nearer

Neville Southall has expressed major fears over the impending appointment of Rafa Benitez as the new Everton manager next week.

The ex-Liverpool boss is expected to be confirmed as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor next week [Sky Sports], despite widespread disapproval from Everton supporters.

Speaking on talkSPORT [26/06/21], legendary Blues goalkeeper Southall gave his instant reaction to the news.

“What is he hoping to achieve by going to Everton? To be fair, I think he’s got balls of steel, because if he goes in there and doesn’t do well after six games, there’s going to be absolute mayhem.

“My fear for Rafa is, are people going to give him the time to turn it around?

“Him coming with his baggage from Liverpool I don’t think he’s going to get the time with fans.

“He’s got to create a miracle in six or seven weeks, and how is he going to do that?”

Destined to fail

Benitez is going to have to do something spectacular in his first few weeks to win over the doubters, over which there are many.

There was a large swell of disapproval among Blues when his name was first mentioned for the job, and that mood has not improved since.

Southall is right – it will take a miracle for Benitez to change the mood at the club now.

Perhaps fortunately for Benitez, we have been handed a fairly kind opening to the Premier League season with only one of our first six opponents finishing in the top half last season.

Conversely, that could be seen as a major pitfall – we will be expected to pick up a large number of points in those fixtures, and there could be carnage if things don’t go according to plan.

Even shoddy pre-season performances would cause anger and frustration.

It just looks like Benitez is set up to fail, but once the initial anger subsides following his official appointment, the team need the supporters to be supportive, irrespective of who is in charge.

In other Everton news, Duncan Ferguson is set for crunch Benitez talks with a major Blues role on the cards.

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