JAKARTA - Everton sacked manager Rafael Benitez after a 2-1 loss against Norwich City left the Merseyside club six points above the Premier League relegation zone in 15th.
Appointed six months ago, the former Liverpool manager has been a controversial choice for Everton supporters and after a promising start to the season the team has continued to sag.
"Benitez, who joined Everton in June 2021, has left the club," Everton said.
"An update regarding a permanent replacement will be made in due course."
The pressure was mounting on Benitez after a thrashing 4-1 loss to Liverpool earlier in December and it was the club's heaviest home Merseyside derby defeat in 39 years.
Everton director of football Marcel Brands left immediately after the defeat.
Everton has only won once since September and supporters who came to Carrow Road took their anger out on the Spaniard and the club's board of directors.
The former Real Madrid and Valencia boss is the latest manager to fall short of expectations at Goodison Park and they are now seeking their seventh head coach in six years.
Since Roberto Martinez left the club in 2016, Everton has alternated with Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, and Carlo Ancelotti before Benitez.
Under the ownership of Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, Everton has spent a lot of money on player investment but the results have remained disappointing.
The club, which is building a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, has not finished in the top six since 2014.
Benitez, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, returns to the Premier League after coaching in China.
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