When Everton confirmed the inevitable news that Benitez had finally been booted out of the club talkSPORT led with a headline ‘Benitez Everton nightmare is over!’ – when the truth is Evertonians’ nightmare was now over.
It may only have been 200 days, but it was 200 days too many. The stubborn and egotistical gobsh*te that stained the good name of Everton Football Club had finally been removed but this was yet another costly mistake by Farhad Moshiri; this could’ve been more than just a financial error; this move could’ve cost Everton Premier League status. The club was going backwards at an alarming rate, yet Benitez decided his ego was more important than Everton Football Club when using Seamus Coleman at left back so that he could leave Lucas Digne on the bench, in a 3-2 defeat to Brighton.
Although Benitez has now been removed from office it doesn’t negate from the fact that Moshiri and Kenwright are still making huge costly mistakes and now they’re trusted with replacing a man that should never have been given such a privileged position at this club.
To whom they will entrust the job with next is anyone’s guess but it’s to our trusty caretaker that we now turn, big Dunc once again fills in for – as the club put it – upcoming games. Dunc’s desire and passion has never been in question, just seeing him putting players through their routines this week has whet the appetite, but this the time to put his own stamp down. His chance to show those in the boardroom that he can do this job permanently and nothing would give Evertonians more satisfaction than seeing one of our own lead the club to a much overdue trophy.
Games don’t come much bigger than this weekend and let’s have it right Everton Football Club is now in an extremely perilous position with a huge run of fixtures on the horizon. The defeat to Norwich, which saw off Benitez, was undeniably catastrophic but a high noon showdown with Gerrard’s Villa is a chance to rectify things. We need to stop the slide, and nobody is better equipped to lift an Everton side like big Dunc, just as he did against Chelsea in December 2019.
Goodison can be cauldron, it can lift players to a victory – a la Arsenal back in December – yet it can be toxic and turgid and quieter than a morgue but when the atmosphere is fizzing there’s nowhere better and if one man can get the cork popping to produce that fizz then look no further than the man who’ll beam with pride in the home dug out come 12.30 on Saturday.
One the most iconic films of the 1990s was the Jamaican bobsledding classic Cool Runnings, during which Yul Brenner’s quote aimed at Junior Bevill could easily be labelled at big Dunc when he marauds about his technical area on Saturday lunchtime ‘I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!”