This month we catch up with optimistic Everton fan Kieran Rants to get his thoughts on players, managers and the game ahead.
How big of a mistake was appointing Benitez?
KR: A huge mistake. It was the worst appointment we have made in the past 20 years. He was never the right man for Everton. He has caused our team to go from 10th last year to a relegation battle.
What about Frank Lampard though?
KR: I already love the man; I’ve wanted him in the job since mid-January. His charisma, modern football style and man management is everything Everton need. He has connected the fans to Everton more than Benitez ever could and I hope it works out for us.
On Merseyside, you welcomed Dele Alli. Kieran, do you actually think he’s a good footballer?
KR: I believe so. There is a reason he has won Young Player of the Season and was in the Team of the Season all those years ago. The problem with Dele Alli is he needs a manager who will always be there for him regardless of his performance, someone he can look up to.
But did you see a problem with Dele Alli rocking up in a Rolls Royce?
KR: Absolutely not. TalkSport coming out and attacking Dele Alli on this was pure stupidity or they were attempting to get views. What do you expect a football player to rock up in? A Fiat 500? This story tells us that there is a media agenda against Dele Alli.
Do you think Everton’s record of having never been relegated is in danger this season?
KR: Football is a results driven moment and we are in serious danger. Only five points since September and one win since September in the league is worrying. However, if we don’t look at the form and we go off my gut instinct, I think we will be fine.
One player who is now at West Ham but could’ve been at Everton for the long-term is Kurt Zouma, why didn’t you sign him after his loan spell?
KR: I think it was down to the board not getting the deal done. We always wanted Zouma at Everton and we spent all summer trying to get him. But when you can’t agree a price with Chelsea they will just walk away.
As it’s Mark Noble’s last season, do you have any vivid memories of him playing against your team or in general?
KR: I have the highest respect for Mark Noble, the most loyal man in football and I hope that West Ham can achieve European glory for him. A memory for me is our FA Cup third round penalty shootout in 2015. Noble was the first penalty taker for the Hammers and no surprise he scored it!
What are your score predictions in your game against West Ham?
KR: 3-1 to Everton