Who next for Everton with Rafa Benitez on his Wayne?

Everton slipped worryingly closer to the relegation zone after losing 2-1 at Norwich City on Saturday. Wobbling alarmingly and struggling for confidence, the Toffees have now won just one of their last 13 Premier League games. Supporters called for Rafa Benitez’s removal at Carrow Road and their wish now looks set to be granted – with Wayne Rooney in line to replace him.

Rooney evens with Ladbrokes to replace Rafa in Toffees hot-seat!

Wayne Rooney is the early favourite to replace Rafa Benitez at Everton as the boyhood Toffees fan prepares for a sensational return to Goodison Park.

Benitez was seen as a dead man walking even before Saturday’s dismal 2-1 defeat at Norwich City which had supporters calling for his head.

One irate Evertonian stormed onto the pitch at Carrow Road and attempted to confront Benitez, which summed up the toxic mood among the travelling supporters.

Now his departure is set to be rubber-stamped with the Everton hierarchy weighing up the candidates to be the Spaniard’s successor.

Ladbrokes have Rooney as favourite at Evens to take the job and it is a move which would be rapturously received by the club’s fanbase.

Rooney grew up in Croxteth in a family of mad-passionate Evertonians and he idolised Duncan Ferguson.

Toffees legend Ferguson has served as assistant under Benitez and his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti and Ladbrokes have him at 7/2 to finally land the top job.

Roberto Martinez is the current manager of Belgium and is a previous Everton boss, with Ladbrokes making him 5/1 for a Goodison Park return as Benitez’s replacement.

Ladbrokes also have Frank Lampard out at 7/1 with former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo at 12/1.

But it is Rooney who appears most the overwhelming favourite to take what is surely his dream job.

Emotion aside, the former Manchester United striker has received plaudits for the job he is doing at crisis-torn Derby.

The Rams defeated Sheffield United on Saturday for their fourth win in five league games thanks to a brace from Tom Lawrence, taking them off the bottom of the Championship table.

Graham Potter and Kasper Hjulmand are both 12/1 with Lucien Favre and Slaven Bilic at 20/1.

What has gone wrong at Everton under Rafa?

Benitez, 61, signed a three-year deal with the Toffees in the summer after Carlo Ancelotti jumped ship to return to Real Madrid.

The Spaniard’s arrival at Goodison Park prompted a bitter, and at times sinister, reaction from angry Evertonians who could not forgive nor forget Benitez’s links to arch-rivals Liverpool.

Everton’s dismal form under Benitez has seen them languish in the bottom half of the table and get dumped out of the Carabao Cup by QPR.

Former striker-turned-pundit Tony Cottee, who spent six years at Everton between 1988 and 1994, said: “I’m not a fan of Rafa, I’ve got to be honest.

“I thought it was such a crazy, high-risk appointment to give the job to someone who had managed Liverpool.

“It just didn’t make any sense to me. If you appoint someone with no ties to your great rivals, then the fans are a bit more understanding and give managers more time.

“But to appoint a former Liverpool manager at Everton was a recipe for disaster – and it’s his style of football too.

“Evertonians want to see their team attack at Goodison Park, not sitting back and playing on the counter-attack.

“Rafa’s teams are notoriously defensive. I just don’t know what boxes Rafa ticked when the Everton board came to appointing him.”

Injuries to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin have hurt Everton this season but too often they have lacked desire and been outfought and outplayed by their opponents.

Take the home defeats to Watford and Brighton and the defeats at Crystal Palace and Norwich, not to mention the home surrender against Merseyside derby rivals Liverpool.

Who will replace the former Liverpool boss at Goodison Park?

Wayne Rooney is the man being linked with the job of succeeding Benitez as Everton manager.

But Cottee believes striking legend and current assistant boss Duncan Ferguson should be given the opportunity in the Toffees hot-seat.

Cottee said: “Sadly I missed Duncan at Everton by three months in 1994 when I left and he arrived – but I’d love to have played with him.

“Big Dunc is an Everton legend and he would be given time because of his status at the club.

“People talk about Wayne Rooney coming in and he’s another Evertonian, so at least you’d get the fans behind you.

“Football is a results business and Rafa is not getting results right now. Unless he changes that very quickly, he will be out of the door.”