Six Everton managers who were worse than Rafael Benitez

Rafa is the latest Everton boss to get the axe but we've found six Toffees managers who were arguably worse than the Spaniard.

Although they are one of English soccer's famous old institutions, Everton Football Club have developed a recent habit of finding themselves in somewhat difficult situations.

The Toffees are once again enduring a sticky spell. They sit 15th in the Premier League, just six points above the bottom three.

Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Norwich was their 10th league loss of the season and third in four games. With supporter unrest reaching fever pitch, it proved to be the final straw for the club's board, with Rafael Benitez sacked the following day.

However, supporters who wanted Benitez out should be careful what they wish for. Everton might end up worse off, as these previous managers prove.

Cliff Britton

Cliff Britton Everton team Mar53

We have to head back a long way for the first name on this list, and encounter Britton, who was in charge between September 1948 and February 1956. He was already popular at Goodison thanks to his exploits as a player before the Second World War, making 242 appearances, during which Dixie Dean described him as the best crosser of the ball he had ever played with.

As we've seen on countless occasions, though, a good player does not necessarily make a good manager. Despite taking charge of a colossal 344 games, Britton hardly set the world alight after swapping Burnley, whom he steered to the 1947 FA Cup final, for Goodison to take over from Theo Kelly.

Britton oversaw 11 back-to-back defeats in 1950/51 as Everton were relegated after finishing bottom of the First Division.

He was afforded time to right the situation and he did finally get the club back into the top flight at the third time of asking in 1954. However, at the time of his resignation, he still possessed precisely zero silverware and a win percentage of only 36.34%.

Ian Buchan

Ian Buchan Everton Aug55

Britton was replaced by the little-known Scotsman Ian Buchan, and problems continued to dog the club throughout the new man's two-and-a-half years in charge.

We do have to make a quick admission here, and that is that Buchan was never officially Everton's 'manager', only their 'chief coach', but he was given the same responsibilities - although many may wish he wasn't.

He struggled to work alongside chairman John Moores, and could only muster finishes of 15th - twice - and 16th in the three seasons he completed while at the club.

He never managed to see the Toffees into a positive goal difference and was ultimately dismissed after six straight losses at the beginning of the 1958/59 season.

Mike Walker

Mike Walker Everton Oct84

However short it was - and it was very short, at just ten months - Everton fans will not look back on Walker's time in charge of their club with any positivity.

He may have successfully staved off relegation, but his record still stands as the worst of any non-caretaker Toffees boss, and the worst of any to have taken charge at Goodison for more than seven games.

Walker came to Everton in January 1994 after resigning from Norwich due to disagreements with the board, and although he did lead that stirring avoidance of the drop as his side came back from 2-0 down to defeat Wimbledon 3-2 on the final day of the season, things only went downhill from there.

The Toffees failed to win any of their opening 12 matches of the 1994/95 season, and although he did manage to break that duck with a 1-0 victory over West Ham in early November, Walker was removed from his role less than a fortnight later, ending his time on Merseyside with a win percentage of 17.14%.

As if to rub it in, his replacement Joe Royle then guided the club to the FA Cup title later that very same season.

Howard Kendall

Howard Kendall Everton Nov97

Yes, I'm serious, and no, please don't shout at me while I explain. Kendall is, naturally, revered by Everton fans for his most notable spell from 1981 to 1987, during which the club won six trophies. He has the highest winning percentage of any Toffees boss to take charge of more than one game.

So why, you might ask, is he anywhere near this list? Well, we aren't referring to the 1980s here, but to a decade later, when Kendall returned for a third stint at the Goodison helm in the 1997/98 season.

After previous manager Royle had resigned following a dispute over transfers, Kendall took over for one more season, and it really didn't go to plan.

Everton won just ten of his 42 games in charge that season, finishing 17th and only avoiding relegation on the final day of the season, and on goal difference, during another campaign beset by infighting.

Kendall was probably quite glad when he was able to depart by mutual consent in May 1998, at least safe in the knowledge that past glories would ensure he remained firmly endeared to the Goodison faithful.

Walter Smith

Walter Smith David Ginola Everton Feb02

Following Kendall's ill-fated third stint as Everton boss, the club brought in then-Rangers manager Smith in 1998. Smith had enjoyed great success north of the border with seven league titles, three Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups. Hopes were high that the man to turn their fortunes around had finally been found.

But as any Everton fan - and to be fair, any soccer fan - will likely tell you, though, getting your hopes up is just about the worst thing you can do. Smith did not bring any of those Ibrox glories with him, and the infighting continued as financial woes meant the club had to sell many of their best players, leading to three successive bottom-half finishes in the Premier League.

Smith's time finally came to an end in March 2002, after a dire run of results that saw the Toffees win just five times in 20 games. His final match in charge was a humbling 3-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, and he ended up being sacked and replaced by another Scotsman, by the name of David Moyes.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce Everton Apr18

Despite a 30-year career in management, Allardyce has never had one of the more free-flowing styles in the game, and his - let's be kind - 'defensive priorities' certainly came to the fore during his spell in charge at Everton between November 2017 and May 2018.

He took over from Ronald Koeman, who had been sacked with the club in the relegation zone, and although he enjoyed a more than reasonable start, going unbeaten in his first six matches, things began to slide from then onwards. He lost his next three in a row, and the rumblings of opposition to his style of play were beginning.

Under Allardyce's management, Everton were ranked in the bottom four of the Premier League for shots, shots on target, passing accuracy and shots faced.

Although the Toffees did ultimately finish the campaign in an entirely acceptable eighth place, Allardyce was sacked after the grumblings of fans became too much.

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