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It’s one of the more controversial managerial appointments of recent years but can Rafa Benitez bring the good times back to Goodison Park?
Everton have risked the wrath of their fans by appointing former Liverpool boss Benitez just 14 years after he branded the Toffees a “small club”.
He later clarified those comments, insisting it was a slip of the tongue, but you can’t really blame some supporters for being wary about the Spaniard rocking up on the blue half of Merseyside.
Benitez will need to win over sections of the Everton faithful but he’s got plenty of Premier League experience and know-how.
A good start to the season would be an easy way to get his critics onside and Everton kick off their Premier League 2021/22 campaign at home to Southampton.
Paddy’s traders have already priced up the opening round of fixtures and the Toffees are odds-on favourites to get underway with three points.
Benitez failed to win the Premier League title during his six-season spell at Anfield and we’re offering odds of 100/1 that he guides his new club to top-flight glory. Just imagine the scenes on Merseyside if that happens.
It’s worth remembering the Toffees have not been the champions of England since 1987 and finished 10th last term, though.
Cast your mind back to the 2004/05 season when David Moyes guided Everton to fourth in the Premier League table, earning a Champions League qualification spot in the process.
They’ve been outside the top four ever since but Benitez brings a touch of European class having guided their bitter rivals to Champions League glory in 2005 and he’s 11/1 to take the club back into Europe’s elite.
The Toffees have been Premier League ever presents since the competition’s inception and finished miles clear of the drop zone last term.
It’d be a massive shock to see them slide out of the top flight but nothing is guaranteed and our traders are offering 20/1 that Everton are relegated this season.
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