Stan Collymore: Everton fans should give Rafa Benitez the whole season
Stan Collymore has urged Everton and their fans to stick with Rafa Benitez until the end of the campaign before deciding on his future.
The Toffees have only picked up two points from the last possible 28, and things could get worse with some tough games still to play this year, but Collymore insists in his Daily Mirror column that the Spaniard needs time.
Everton host Liverpool on Wednesday before welcoming Arsenal to Goodison Park at the weekend, and losing both games could prove very costly for Benitez.
Collymore said: “The best thing Everton and Evertonians could do is give the Spaniard the season and see where they are then.
“If they are seventh it would qualify as a very good campaign and if they are 11th it’ll be time in the summer to sit down and say, ‘Thanks, Rafa, but that’s not good enough, goodbye’.
“For now, though, however frustrating things are, Everton will do well to remember they are pretty much where they should be.”
It will be very harsh to judge Benitez amid the injury woes his side are currently facing.
The Toffees started the campaign on a bright note, but the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin has not helped of recent.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Richarlison have also been missing at various times in the season, while Yerry Mina has been out for a while now.
The Spaniard only had £1.7million to spend in the summer, and many managers would struggle to get their teams firing if they were in his position.
Sacking him during the season will be harsh except things become so bad, but giving him a chance to turn things around during the second half of the season will be very fair.
Benitez will not be able to make campaign-changing signings in January, but one or two additions could come in on loan or bargain deals to help improve Everton fortunes.
He deserves the benefit of the doubt given his experience and track record, and not many will blame them if they decide to part ways with him at the end of the campaign if it ends on an underwhelming note.