Frank Lampard is the new coach of Everton. He replaces the recently sacked Rafael Benitez, who left the club sitting perilously close to the Premier League relegation zone. Everton are 16th, just four points clear of danger and seven from the bottom.
Lampard’s immediate task is securing safety from relegation and while there should be sufficient quality in the squad to do so there has to be the realisation that Everton aren’t too big to go down. Many are putting their money on such an event at sites like bonuskoodi.eu even though the club aren’t favourites for the drop.
Benitez was never a popular appointment and employed results football without the results. Everton have won five, drawn four and lost eleven games so far this season, scoring 24 goals and conceding 35. Their goal difference is minus eleven.
Lampard isn’t a guarantee of success but his appointment has changed the air at the club. As a player he was one of the most successful midfielders in English history, winning everything there was to win during his 13 years at Chelsea.
He began his coaching career just two years after hanging up his boots following a spell in the United States, taking over at Derby County for the 2018/19 season. They finished sixth in the Championship that year, making it to the final of the playoffs only to lose to Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.
That summer he took over at Chelsea after Maurizio Sarri left the club. There was a transfer ban in place at Stamford Bridge — something that made the task difficult indeed — but he managed to galvanise a youthful team and lead them to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and the final of the FA Cup, which they lost to Arsenal.
Things went wrong the following season, however, and Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January after a poor run of results that saw the club fall as low as ninth in the table. Thomas Tuchel then came in and led the same group of players to win the Champions League.
Lampard’s been out of work ever since but is now fired with enthusiasm to help Everton climb the table and return to competing for a place in Europe. And he’s not wasted any time, sanctioning two transfers on his first day in Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli.
Van de Beek, 24, made his name at Ajax but has struggled to earn regular minutes at Manchester United since he joined them in the summer of 2020. A creative midfielder, Lampard is said to believe he can deliver real value for Everton and thus sanctioned a loan deal until the end of the season.
Dele, 25, has spent the last seven years at Tottenham Hotspur but has been a shadow of his previous self since Mauricio Pochettino left the club. At his best he’s world-class, a tall, aggressive and fearless attacking midfielder with the ability to deliver goals for his team. At his worst, he’s languid and insipid. Lampard rates him highly and believes he has the ability to restore Dele to his previous self and for that reason sanctioned a permanent transfer.
Time will tell if he can. But it’s next season where his work will truly be measured. Lampard has said that he wants to build Everton in his own image and turn them into an aggressive, front-foot and attacking team. Still bruised by how his spell at Stamford Bridge ended, his mission will be to get Everton back into European competition. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can.