‘Then you’ve got a big decision’ - Jamie Carragher’s verdict on Rafa Benitez’s Everton future amid sack calls

Rafa Benitez has come under growing pressure as Everton manager after their 3-2 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion.

<p>Rafa Benitez gestures on the touchline during Everton’s loss to Brighton. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images</p>

Rafa Benitez gestures on the touchline during Everton’s loss to Brighton. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Jamie Carragher has admitted that he struggles to see Rafa Benitez still being in charge of Everton at the start of next season.

The Spaniard has come under intense pressure after the Toffees' woeful form continued.

The 3-2 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday stretched Everton's horrendous run of results to just one win in 12 games.

They languish in 16th spot in the Premier League and sections of fans fear the Blues could be dragged into a relegation battle.

Carragher appeared as a surprise guest on podcast A View From The Bullens' Twitter Space on Sunday evening.

With Benitez being Everton's sixth permanent manager since Farhad Moshiri's takeover, Carragher believes it's a reason why the former Napoli boss has perhaps been given more time than some of his predecessors.

But being a former Liverpool supremo and with his detractors growing, Carragher finds it hard to believe there won’t be a new man in the Goodison Park hot seat come the opening of the 2022-23 campaign.

What’s been said

The Sky Sports pundit said: “I wouldn't say you've got to get behind him because it's always going to be difficult getting behind an ex-Liverpool manager.

“I wouldn't like to see an ex-Man Utd or ex-Everton manager at Liverpool. I would find it difficult to get behind him, certainly if things were going badly as it is now.

Everton manager Rafa Benitez. Picture: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

“The onus is on Rafa Benitez to turn the supporters around with results.

“You look at the FA Cup game at Hull next week. That's got danger written all over it the way Everton are going at the moment, it really has.

“But I just think, nothing to do with Rafa, certain clubs at certain times make that many changes with a manager that sometimes the guy in charge - even if it's not going well - gets a little bit longer.

“The board think: ‘We can't sack another manager’. Some of the supporters are even thinking, even though results are that bad, where do we go from here, we can't get rid of another one.

“The fact that Everton have signed a couple of players in the last couple of days [Vitaliy Mykolenko and imminent arrival Nathan Patterson], it's difficult to change.

“Whether 99% of supporters are against him, I just think it's something you've got to see out for the rest of the season then you've got a big decision to make.”

‘You’ve got to get results and he’s not getting them right now’

Everton found themselves behind to Brighton after just three minutes.

It was yet another game this season the Toffees had a mountain to climb in the second half, having gone into the interval 2-0 down.

Alexis Mac Allister celebrates his third-minute opening goal for Brighton against Everton. Picture: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Carragher believes the style of football Benitez has deployed, something he experienced when working together at Liverpool, is only palatable with fans if it produces results.

He added: “It's always going to be very difficult for Rafa Benitez to have that real connection at Everton. The style of football he plays is something I was involved in and well aware of what it is.

“I'd call it winning football. You've got to win if you play like that. It's not the easiest on the eye, we were never the easiest on the eye at Liverpool at certain times under Rafa but it got results.

“There were other times in his managerial jobs. Valencia, going to Napoli, he did a decent job at Newcastle.

“But when you play like that with the handbrake on, you've got to get results and he's not getting them right now.

“I couldn't have a go at the Everton supporters at all for, not so much for turning on him - it was always up to Rafa to get them on board.

“I don't think he will go any time soon because of the signings. He's been given power by the club now with (director of football) Marcel Brands going but I think it’s probably going to be a big ask for him to be there next season.”

Benitez felt that Everton paid the price for making too many individual mistakes against Brighton.

He told the club’s website: “To concede the way we are is making it very difficult for us.

“It gives us a big mountain to climb and is not easy later in the game.

Dan Burn heads home Brighton’s second goal unmarked against Everton. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

“We missed a penalty, which is more complicated for the confidence.

“We reacted and were pushing – but then made another mistake and conceded the third.

“The goals we conceded were more about lack of focus and concentration in the first minutes.

“We conceded these goals and after played under more pressure, so it is more difficult

“You can see the reaction is there but it is not enough, because we continued making mistakes

“It is something we have been talking about and practising. We worked on that [defending various situations] but were not capable of doing it. We have to focus and start the games with the intensity everyone is expecting.

“We have to improve, especially in defence, you can see the team push and work hard and try but we are missing a bit of quality in our decision-making in the final third and the kind of goals we conceded.”