Benítez Stays Upbeat While Everton Fans Fear Merseyside dyerby Doomsday

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When Farhad Moshiri appointed Rafael Bentez five months ago, Evertonians of the glass-half-empty inclination predicted an apocalyptic scenario. It went something like this: before the Merseyside derby, fragile support for the new manager erodes along with the team’s form, Liverpool inflicts more punishment, the atmosphere becomes poisonous, and Benitez’s name is sung for the first time since his arrival, but only by 2,902 away fans in the Bullens Road stand, who are also reminiscing about Istanbul. Everton’s board of directors hides its own poor results behind an unpopular manager, and so forth.

Anything may happen in a derby (albeit eight of the last nine league games at Goodison Park have ended in draws), but any or all of the aforementioned happening on Wednesday would not be surprising. “It is a massive game for us,” said a more positive Benítez. “It is an opportunity for us to change things and improve everything for the rest of the season.”

After Everton’s defeat at Brentford on Sunday, the hashtags “Agent Rafa” and “Benitez’s” were trending, reflecting the polarized views on the former Liverpool manager’s employment across Stanley Park. Benitez’s club had gone seven matches and two calendar months without a win due to a lack of enthusiasm, quality, and a recognizable gameplan.

Source : Guardian sport

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