Roberto Martinez is at the top of the club’s shortlist and would welcome a comeback – Sky Sports Breaking News 2021

Everton coach search: Roberto Martinez is at the top of the club's shortlist and would welcome a comeback, News Sky Sports, sky sports

Roberto Martinez coached Everton between 2013 and 2016; 48-year-old is currently Belgium manager and the FA are unlikely to let him leave before the 2022 World Cup; Everton sacked Rafael Benitez on Sunday with club 16th in table and are also considering Wayne Rooney as his replacement

Everton coach search: Roberto Martinez is at the top of the club’s shortlist and would welcome a comeback

Roberto Martinez coached Everton between 2013 and 2016; 48-year-old is currently Belgium manager and the FA are unlikely to let him leave before the 2022 World Cup; Everton sacked Rafael Benitez on Sunday with club 16th in table and are also considering Wayne Rooney as his replacement

Roberto Martinez would welcome a return to Everton as they search for a replacement for Rafael Benitez, who was sacked as the club’s manager on Sunday.

Martinez, who spent three years at Goodison Park between 2013 and 2016, is high on Everton’s shortlist.

However, the Belgian Football Association wants Martinez to remain in charge and lead them to the 2022 World Cup, and any return to the Premier League is unlikely before this winter’s tournament.

Martinez was the Everton board’s first choice to replace Carlo Ancelotti – who moved to Real Madrid – this summer, but club owner Farhad Moshiri picked Benitez.

It is understood that the 48-year-old feels a great affinity for Everton after his time at the club. He led them to fifth place in his first season but was sacked in May 2016 after finishing eleventh two times in a row.

Initez left Everton just six and a half months into the job after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Norwich.

The Toffees have won only once in the Premier League since September and are 16th in the table, six points above the relegation zone.

Along with Martinez, Wayne Rooney is seen as a candidate to replace Benitez. The former England captain impressed in his first managerial job at Derby under extremely difficult circumstances.

Rooney came through the Everton academy and made his debut in August 2002 before joining Manchester United two years later. He also spent the 2017/18 season at Goodison Park after returning from Old Trafford.

The 36-year-old is understood to be happy and focused in the derby, but he will find it difficult to turn Everton over given his history and association with the club.

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Frank Lampard is another coach Everton is looking at, as are assistant manager Duncan Ferguson, Graham Potter Brighton and former Lyon boss Rudy Garcia.

Both Lampard and Garcia are currently unemployed, while Ferguson – like Rooney – has a rich history with Everton.

Potter is known to be very happy at Brighton and is currently not interested in speaking with Everton.

Following his dismissal, Benitez released a statement on Sunday night claiming that things “would have improved” had the players not been injured and more new deals signed.

On his personal website, he said: “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and that it was a huge challenge, both emotionally and athletically.

“My love for this city, for Merseyside and its residents, has made me accept this challenge, but only when you are inside realize the scale of the task.

“From day one, the staff and I worked as we always do, with complete commitment and dedication. Not only did we have to deliver results but we also had to win people’s hearts.

“However, the financial situation and the injuries that followed made things even more difficult. I am convinced we would have been better once the injured players came back and with the arrival of new signings.

“The road to success is not easy and unfortunately these days in football there is a search for instant results and there is always less and less patience. Unfortunately, circumstances have determined the results and it will not be possible to continue this project.

“In any case, thanks to the board of directors, the staff, the players and the fans who have supported us during this time.”

Norwich beat Everton to put pressure on Benitez
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The former Liverpool boss was appointed as Everton coach last summer but the Spaniard failed to beat a loyal Goodison Park.

Everton fans displayed a banner calling for him to be taken out during their team’s loss to Norwich on Carrow Road. The same banner was also raised in their 3-2 FA Cup third round win over Hull.

Everton have lost nine of their past 13 league games, including a 4-1 home loss to Merseyside rivals Liverpool and a 5-2 home defeat by relegation-stranded Watford.

“A permanent replacement will be updated in due course,” Everton said.

Kane: A dressing room lacking leaders
Roy Keane from Sky Sports:

“Every time I’ve seen Everton over the past few months it doesn’t feel like a good dressing room there. They have some decent players who show up every now and then, which is not good for a big club like Everton.

“I get the impression that something is missing in this dressing room, whether it’s that culture or the lack of personalities and leaders at the club.

“I know Seamus Coleman and he’s a really good guy, but I get the impression it’s not a good dressing room. You can’t lose too many games, the manager will pay the price.”

Redknapp: Fans don’t have a Rafa
Jimmy Redknapp from Sky Sports:

“To some extent, not everything that happened at Everton is on Rafa, but he is used to making a mess of clubs. He is political and he always blames everyone.

“It puts that person against that person and creates a crowd against the board everywhere he goes.

“I’m convinced he did it again there and I didn’t always see him. Some people wouldn’t like that fact we talked about about the manager position but his departure was inevitable.

“He was never fit. You can’t keep losing matches. He didn’t have the fans. Football fans don’t mind who’s in charge if they win, but he had to go.

“Duncan Ferguson is in there, he did a good job temporarily last time, and he can come in while they look for the next manager. Some people are talking about Wayne Rooney, and the job he’s doing at Derby is out of this world.”

“This would be the greatest escape of all time. Whether it’s the right person? I don’t know. But that’s the kind of options they’re going to look at now.”

Stubbs: I won’t look at Martinez
Former Everton defender Alan Stubbs:

“It’s not for me. I have to be honest. I think when Roberto got the job, he was lucky because he inherited the defensive side of David Moyes who was still in the team.

“Over the years it gradually got worse and by the time he left it was really hard watching Everton – it was slow, it was boring at times, it was choppy a lot, it was a tough hour.

“For me, it’s not a candidate that I would definitely look into.”

Where is the blame at Everton?
Ben Grounds in Sky Sports:

It’s a question that remains difficult to define precisely, but for many of those who have returned to Merseyside from Norwich after making their longest trip out of the season, it has been clear where the officials stop. Everton are in free fall and this unhappy marriage with ex-Liverpool boss Benitez has hit rock bottom at Carrow Road.

It was the club’s first defeat away from home against a team that started today at the bottom of the Premier League table since May 2004, having not lost on 17 such occasions in the match. Time and excuses ran out for Benitez. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back on the side after his latest setback while Richarlison had an impact off the bench, but the damage was already done.

As was so often the case during this miserable run of one win in 13 league games.

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