Rafa Benitez sacked by Everton after six months in charge

Nicol adamant Rooney not right for Everton job (0:43)

Steve Nicol feels Wayne Rooney does not have the experience required to take over from Rafael Benitez at Everton. (0:43)

Rafa Benitez was sacked as Everton manager after a disappointing six months in charge at Goodison Park, the club announced on Sunday.

Everton have called time on Benitez's tenure following a 2-1 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Norwich City on Saturday. The side have won just a single league game since Sept. 25 -- a narrow victory over Arsenal in December.

- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

"Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benitez as first team manager," an Everton statement read. "Benitez, who joined Everton in June 2021, has left the club with immediate effect.

"An update on a permanent replacement will be made in due course."

Benitez joined Everton in June, replacing Carlo Ancelotti, who left after 12 months in charge to join Real Madrid. Some Everton supporters hung a threatening banner outside the Spanish coach's house in the days prior to his signing due to his previous spell with Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

"We knew it wouldn't be easy," Benitez said in a statement on his website.

"It was a big challenge, both emotionally and in terms of sport. My love for this city, for Merseyside and its people, made me accept this challenge, but it is only when you are inside that you realise the magnitude of the task.

"From the very first day, my staff and myself worked as we always do, with commitment and full dedication. We didn't only have to get results, but we also had to win over people's hearts.

"However, the financial situation and then the injuries that followed made things even harder

"I am convinced that we would have been better once the injured players were back and with the arrival of the new signings.

"The road to success isn't easy and, sadly, nowadays in football there is a search for immediate results and there is always less and less patience; unfortunately circumstances have determined the results and it won't be possible to continue this project.

"In any case, thank you to the board, to the staff, to the players, and to those fans who have supported us during this time."

Everton are in 15th place after 19 games this season, just six points off the relegation places.