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The numbers behind Rafael Benitez’s Everton downfall

Norwich City v Everton – Premier League – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Rafael Benitez’s sacking by Everton saw him leave as one of the club’s least successful Premier League managers.

Benitez’s unhappy spell at Goodison Park lasted just 22 games in all competitions, with just one win in his last 13 league games.

His win percentage of just under 32 per cent is his lowest with an English club and also compares unfavourably to recent Blues managers.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the statistics behind his exit.

Rafa’s touch deserts him

Rafael Benitez poses with Liverpool's Champions League trophy, left, and shows his frustration while at Everton

Rafael Benitez’s Everton reign stands in sharp contrast to his successes at Liverpool (Rebecca Naden/Richard Sellers/PA)

Benitez’s appointment was questioned from the outset given his hero status with rivals Liverpool, and he was unable to reproduce the same results on the other side of Stanley Park.

The Spaniard won more than half of his 350 games with Liverpool, 55.4 per cent, winning an unforgettable Champions League in 2005 and an FA Cup, as well as reaching another European final.

His interim spell at Chelsea brought an even higher winning ratio, 58.3 per cent, while with Newcastle he won 42.5 per cent of his games, with 62 out of 146, although his time at St James’ Park included a season in the Championship.

At Everton his success rate was just 31.8 per cent, with seven wins, five draws and 10 losses.

A 4-1 derby hammering by his former club set the alarm bells ringing and despite victory over Arsenal and a draw with Chelsea, it was a temporary respite. They lost to both Crystal Palace and Brighton, needed extra time to get past Hull in the FA Cup and then suffered a miserable defeat to struggling Norwich which proved the final straw.

With 31 goals scored in his 22 games and 39 conceded, it is the first time in English football a Benitez side have had a negative goal difference across his reign.

The Toffees have been ever-present in the top flight since 1954, longer than any club other than Arsenal, but that record is also under threat as they languish just six points above the relegation zone – albeit with games in hand on some of their fellow strugglers.

Sticky patch for Toffees

Record of Everton managers in the Premier League era

Rafael Benitez’s record compares poorly to recent Everton managers (PA graphic)

Not since Mike Walker’s similarly short reign in 1994 has an Everton manager had a lower winning percentage than Benitez, whose figure is the club’s second-lowest in the Premier League era.

Walker won just six of 35 games in charge, a dismal 17.1 per cent mark, with Benitez ranking slightly lower than Walter Smith’s 32.4 per cent.

In the almost 20 years since David Moyes’ appointment in March 2002, the Toffees have won 42 per cent of games – 10 percentage points better than Benitez’s record – with Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all between 41 and 43 per cent.

Carlo Ancelotti’s 46.3 per cent win rate is the club’s highest of the Premier League era and Marco Silva managed a round 40 per cent, with Sam Allardyce at 38.5 per cent as he rescued Koeman’s team from relegation. Joe Royle managed 39 per cent and won Everton’s only trophies of the Premier League era, the 1995 FA Cup and Charity Shield.

With Howard Kendall at 36.3 per cent across his two spells between 1990 and 1998 – the first commencing before the Premier League’s introduction – Benitez is a long way adrift of any Toffees manager in those years bar Walker and Smith.

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