The latest manager to succumb to the almost hard task of running Everton is Frank Lampard.
Everton only avoided relegation to the Championship in the penultimate game of the previous campaign, therefore it was hoped that this one would be yet another reset and new beginning.
However, Lampard has been unable to turn things around, and his dismissal seemed inevitable after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at West Ham United, which dropped Everton to 19th place in the standings with only three victories in 20 games.
Only nine of the 44-year-38 old’s league matches were victories, giving him a victory percentage of a pitiful 23.68%. For one of the best players in the contemporary game, such numbers are depressing to read.
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Where did Lampard make a mistake?
The same thing went wrong with Everton’s volatile owner Farhad Moshiri’s past five managers, Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, and Rafael Benitez.
The most important currency in football, results, have not been achieved by Lampard. Nobody has a solid argument to support the idea that Everton was getting better.
He does, however, go with a lot of Everton supporters’ sympathies. They warmed to a person who interacted with them and displayed an immediate understanding of the club’s historical significance in English football.
Everton started the customary “strategic assessment” after last season’s razor-thin victory to make sure they wouldn’t repeat it. However, all of those preparations were derailed by the improper handling of the £60 million sale of Brazilian striker Richarlison to Tottenham, whose goals kept them in the league last season.
Even before Richarlison left, the lack of a goal threat was an apparent problem, thus failing to find a suitable replacement was a failure on the part of Lampard or director of football Kevin Thelwell.
Everton placed a lot of faith in the durability of the injury-prone Dominic Calvert-Lewin; nevertheless, their bet paid off when he was sidelined for the duration of the season. After searching through a B-list of potential targets, they settled on the £12 million purchase of Neal Maupay, who was rejected by Brighton and has only managed one goal since joining.
Dwight McNeil was acquired from Burnley for £20 million with the intention of assisting Calvert-Lewin, but despite a few flashes of brilliance, he has rapidly faded into the background.
Only Wolves have scored less goals than Everton’s 15, which has put strain on the defense. While James Tarkowski and Conor Coady initially appeared to have offered solidity, the defense has been more flimsy as the season has gone on.
Idrissa Gueye has appeared to be a shell of the player that left Everton for Paris St. Germain, while Amadou Onana, the returning midfielder who cost £33 million and was recruited from Lille, is still developing.
After the World Cup, the Premier League resumed. Lampard faced a crucial stretch, and his fate was sealed by a total of zero points from home games against fellow strugglers Wolves and Southampton, with a 4-1 thumping by Brighton sandwiched in between.
The three most crucial phrases in a football game, according to an old proverb, are “recruitment, recruitment, recruitment.” Everton’s approach has been wasteful and illogical on the surface.
For Everton’s final game against Lampard, the starting lineup featured players acquired from five different managers; for the team’s defeat at home to bottom-dwelling Southampton, it featured six.
Lampard had to put together elements put together by others while also adding his own to create something comprehensible. Like those others, he was unable to complete the task.
Is Lampard solely to blame for the problem at Everton?
Even though Lampard’s performances have been so dismal, many of his supporters still have respect for him since they believe he has outperformed more prominent managers.
The absence of animosity from the fanbase toward Lampard also points to the larger culprits, especially Goodison Park owner Moshiri and those in the boardroom who are accountable for the debacle that resulted in this predicament.
Even before Carlo Ancelotti, Moshiri’s “Hollywood” hire, shocked him by returning to Real Madrid, there were already questions being raised about whether or not the four-time Champions League champion could restore Everton.
Everton’s fans are in blatant uproar after the board announced they were unable to attend the team’s last home game against Southampton due to security concerns, despite the fact that they were all present at London Stadium with Moshiri.
Since their team hasn’t won a trophy since 1995, Everton supporters are calling for Kenwright to be fired. Having bought the club from the previous owner Peter Johnson in 1999, they view him as a constant of the lean years. Also wanted gone is CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, according to the supporters.
Although Kenwright often boasted that other teams looked to Everton’s board for the proper way to handle difficulties, Moshiri is frequently held responsible for poor decisions, such as the signing of former Liverpool manager Benitez in the face of fan discontent. Now that the club’s problems are getting worse, there must also be managerial accountability.
Everton has hired Thelwell as their third director of football under Moshiri, following Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands, and the team has spent more than £500 million to become far worse than it was when its owner acquired the franchise in February 2016.
Everton has lost the ability to return to the markets to remedy their issues as a result of that spending and the limitations of Financial Fair Play. Years of regrettable choices have caught up with them.
So, the task ahead for Lampard’s replacement won’t be simple.
What comes next for Lampard and Everton?
New stadium for Everton
At Bramley-Moore, Everton’s new stadium is taking shape. As fans prepare for another protest at the upcoming home game against Premier League leaders Arsenal, Dock Moshiri is now vying for his seventh management position.
Those asking for Moshiri to leave appreciate that finding a buyer first is a difficult task given the state of Everton and the need to raise money for a new £760 million stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock.
It remains to be seen if the current board, which includes Kenwright, Barrett-Baxendale, Grant Ingles, the financial director, and former playing legend Graeme Sharp, will change. It is also unknown at this time if the group would watch Arsenal from their seats in the directors’ box.
Recent incidents, particularly their absence against Southampton, only served to inflame animosity among a significant portion of Everton’s fan base, and the relationship now appears to be irreparably damaged.
The situation is not ideal for finding a manager who can prevent a drop into the Championship.
After the way he was fired from his previous two positions—at Chelsea and now Everton—it must be questioned whether Lampard will be given another chance at a high-profile position, or even if he would even want one.
While he leaves with the support of many Everton supporters, the hierarchy he leaves behind must break the trend of recent years by selecting a manager who can resurrect the team.