After another protracted manager search, in which Everton Football Club has again been the laughing stock of the football world, we have our new saviour in the shape of ex-Derby County and Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard.
First, let’s start with the actual manager search. Many names were linked with the post. As usual with Everton, all the names linked were a mish-mash of different managers with different playing styles and philosophies. This is par for the course for those who run the club.
With the sacking of Rafael Benitez, there was no vision or plan from the owner and the board. The club have not had any vision or strategy since Farhad Moshiri bought into the club. The one person who could set out a vision and style of playing was the Director of Football (DoF). But of course, the medalling Moshiri and the board members did not allow the DoF to do his job.
Marcel Brands was finally dumped once the power battle with Benitez came to a head. When, soon after his victory over Brands, Benitez himself got the bullet, Everton Football Club, as usual went into another endless manager search with no vision or plan.
Any club with any sort of plan and strategy would have a shortlist of managers who they saw fitting a vision for the football club. If a manager was sacked, they would have a plan and shortlist ready for who might succeed them. This shortlist would contain managers who would fit the overall vision of the club.
But, at the shambles which is Everton, none of this exists, or has ever existed under the ruinous ownership of the Monaco-based billionaire. Instead, it is every 18 months — or, in the cases of Benitez and Allardyce, 6 months — sack and time for another round of manager roulette.
In the case of the latest crapshoot, while many names were linked, it seemed a motley bunch of five names was the real shortlist. This list consisted of Roberto Martinez, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Vitor Pereira and, hanging at the back of the room, Duncan Ferguson.
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The idea of Bobby Brown Shoes, the first to feel the axe of Moshiri, returning to a club he took to court for £10 million in compensation was truly otherworldly. Even more outlandish was the idea he could job-share while managing the Belgian National team.
The people who run the club actually thought Everton FC could operate with a part-time manager! When the Belgian Football Federation said no to this idea, the Brown Shoes’ return crashed into the buffers. The Martinez escapade only highlighted the ever-increasing incompetence of the people who run Everton, plus their deep disregard for the supporters.
Wayne Rooney, blue-blood Bill Kenwright’s golden dream, was next on the list. Rooney has done wonders at Derby County, but has managed just 30 games with the Rams (at the time of writing). This shows the nonsensical Football Manager approach Moshiri and the board play when it comes to choosing a manager. Complete pick-and-mix nonsense.
“Rooney, oh yeah, big name, doing well in the Championship, even if it is only 30 games. Give him a call.”
Rooney declined to come to the final round of shotgun wedding interviews on Friday 28 January. (You have to give him credit. He obviously knew that such a poisoned chalice as Everton would kill his embryonic management career!)
So, on Shotgun Friday, Everton ended up, after two rounds of earlier interviews for Frank Lampard and Vitor Pereira (who no-one wanted except the Moshiri and his agent mate, Kia Joorabchian), with a final candidate shoot out. A London-based high-noon interview gunfight, but with no lead in the Gary Cooper role. Even more ridiculous, the tub-thumping Duncan Ferguson, whose abject interim audition against Aston Villa showed how backward his football is,(see “Yabba Dabba Doo”), was summoned to London to make it a three-way gunfight interview process. (I suppose Gary Cooper had four to kill in the original.)
The Guardian was even reporting that Moshiri was flying in for the interviews, along with his billionaire mate, Alisher “I have no influence at Everton Football Club" Usmanov. Moshiri’s six-year reign at Everton is a clear testament why these two could never get the power they craved in the Arsenal boardroom.
Add to this the absolute joke, broadcast to the entire world, of Pereira practically pleading for the manager’s job in a Sky News interview earlier in the week. The complete total dysfunctional shit-show which is Everton Football Club was clear for all to see in this most ridiculous of manager searches.
It is with a sigh of relief that the lunatics who run this asylum have actually ended up giving the keys of Goodison and Finch Farm to the one name on the list of five who I would go anywhere near. So: enter Frank Lampard…
The outpouring of joy for bringing Lampard in from Blues supporters leading up to Shotgun Friday was, to me, quite mystifying. Lampard was being made out to be some sort of football manager deity in the eyes of many supporters. This I have to say is completely wrong. Lampard has not exactly set the world alight in his two stints in management so far.
Lampard was appointed manager of Championship Derby County on 31 May 2018. In his one season at Derby, he got them to 6th place in the Championship and then through to the play-off final against Aston Villa. In the Wembley final he was tactically out-thought by Dean Smith, who took his side to the Premier League with a 2-1 win.
After his one season in charge of Derby County, the team he could not refuse came calling. Lampard became Chelsea manager in June 2019.
On taking the Stamford Bridge hot-seat, he had to work under a transfer ban. This saw him make great use of young players who had come through the Chelsea academy. He steered Chelsea to 4th place in the Premier League and a Champions League spot in his first season. He also reached the FA Cup Final with Chelsea, where they were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal.
A feature of Lampard’s time, to a certain extent at Derby and most definitely at Chelsea, has been his inability to organise a defence. He played a pressing game but, once that press was broken, his defensive structure was incapable of stopping attacks. ,P.With the transfer ban ending in the Summer of 2020, to be fair to Lampard, he had identified it was in defence that he needed reinforcements. Declan Rice at West Ham United was his number one target, along with left-back Ben Chilwell at Leicester City, plus another centre-back.
This seemed to clash with the aims of the Chelsea hierarchy who, after the transfer ban ended, gave Lampard just Chilwell from his three targets, while stocking up on attackers and midfielders in the shape of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz plus goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Defensive frailties were still evident as Lampard’s second season progressed. Results started to spiral downwards around November and December, leading to his sacking in late January 2021. Thomas Tuchel came in, quickly organised the defence, and led Chelsea to victory in the Champions League Final.
Lampard has had a mixed bag in his 2½ years of management. He was backed at Derby (this was before the calamitous owner Mel Morris's reign had reached its apex), but only managed to get a team which had been hovering around the play-offs in the previous two seasons to 6th and then that defeat in the play-off final against Aston Villa.
His first season at Chelsea was a relative success. The transfer ban showed he has an eye for young players and is willing to give them a chance. But it can be argued that Chelsea over the past decade have built up one of the best academies in the country, and so he had a very good crop of young players to pick from. His second season at Chelsea was a disaster, defensive struggles and clashes with the hierarchy resulting in his dismissal half-way through the season.
Lampard’s record as a manager does not make him the football genius some Blues seem to think he is. He has, in my eyes, a lot to prove. The move to Everton is probably seen by him as his chance to resurrect his career after he was burned at Chelsea.
He certainly has an eye for a good young player and this can bode well for Everton. With the club financially in a deep hole, someone who can spot players in the academy and is willing to give them a chance is a very big asset. If he can overcome the stagnant hand of David Unsworth and promote some of the young talent in the academy quickly (Dobbin, Warrington, Welch and Whitaker for example), instead of letting them waste valuable football time in the Under-23s, that will be a big step forward.
It is also to be hoped that, in his time out of management, after his sacking at Chelsea, Lampard has had time to reflect on where he has made mistakes in his managerial career to date. It is to be hoped he has learned how to set up a defence, for instance.
It would be good that when he is joined by his backroom staff, he starts to dispense with some of the Kenwright favourites littering the club. He needs to set his own mark on the club quickly, and not be held back by the dead hand of the jobs-for-the-boys culture which has infected the club for too long.
If the above happens, the gamble on Lampard may end up as a good appointment. He has a lot to prove and will see Goodison Park as the perfect place to show how good a manager he is. He will need time, and I hope he has managed to get cast-iron guarantees about what he can expect from the hierarchy, Including Moshiri keeping well out of the way.
I am a positive sceptic on the appointment of Frank Lampard. I am definitely not won over by his past record, but believe he has to be given a chance and some time to build and mould the team. But will he be able to do this with the dysfunctional leadership in the Everton boardroom, and the owner? Will Moshiri be interfering? I doubt it.
If Lampard succeeds at Everton Football Club it will be despite the ownership and board at the club. I am, as I say a positive sceptic on Lampard. There were plenty better candidates out there, and I don’t think he has shown anything special in his managerial career so far.
But I am willing to give him a chance, and like any Blue, I hope he succeeds. It will be a very, very tall order, if not an impossible task.
So, Frankie Goes To Goodison. The question is, will he sing “Two Tribes” before the Anfield derby?
Reader Comments (33)
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1 Posted 29/01/2022 at 06:27:43
The single, the only issue, at this time is to escape the drag of the bottom three, which by each game gets closer.
How Lampard, or anyone else maintains our Premier League status is irrelevant. Put 10 men behind the ball and get a point from every remaining game, who cares?
Nobody knows if Lampard will succeed, though I imagine everyone, well almost everyone, hopes he does. However, nice tactics and a pressing game with the halfwits we have will accelerate the drop.
2 Posted 29/01/2022 at 07:02:58
Personally, I am going to get behind him and give him the time he needs in what would be a very difficult job for anybody, as has been proved with that ''top-class'' manager, Ancelotti.
Let's just hope there is time to get in at least one central midfielder or I fear the worst.
3 Posted 29/01/2022 at 07:12:14
I hope hes in Full Metal Jacket mode for this challenge.
Hopefully he will get a couple of midfielders from some where in the next couple of days to bolster the survival battle.
Time to support the club and unite to win the relegation battle. No doubt Frank will want to make a point and he will have learnt a lot from his stints at Derby and Chelsea.
Up the Toffes!
4 Posted 29/01/2022 at 07:45:18
The other positive, hopefully, is that he brings the ex-Evertonian, Barry, with him, regarded as a top coach.
The negative is that nobody has a clue if he is a good manager or not.
I'd prefer someone like him over the usual failed managers we go after.
5 Posted 29/01/2022 at 08:00:56
But he's not my choice at all. He's been a fine pro, has standards, plays good football and gives youth a chance.
But I don't see any long term fit to build this club. Actually, apart from a complete gamble on Rooney, I don't see anyone sorting this mess out. £500M and plenty of managers that all gave us hope, which faded to dust. Perhaps that's where we are as fans. Totally lost in seeing a club move forward.
Will we warm to Lampard? Will we sing his name with any passion? Does he get the area and the long suffering fanbase? Will he stick around for the fight? Will we stick with him when the chips are down. And most importantly will he keep us up.
We have slept walked into a relegation fight, and the scariest thing of all the scrapes we've been in, I don't think we have the tool kit to fight it out.
6 Posted 29/01/2022 at 08:03:58
I don't want any EFC DNA because to me that just means under-qualified losers given a job to help them out. New Everton, new beginning, new Wembley visit in May... (Okay, at least two out the three!)
7 Posted 29/01/2022 at 08:30:45
I hope he brings in his own people eg Barry (Jody Morris has already said no to moving up north), John Terry as defensive coach, and a few Chelsea players like Loftus-Cheek, Azpilicueta and Malang Sarr etc…
This might be the best opportunity to ease out Kenwrights babes like Duncan, Unsy, Baxter etc… we should not be a retirement home for former and present failures. I hope Duncan takes this opportunity to move into management on his own.
So deep breath and lets hope Frank can stabilise this shipwreck and head us into a new direction.
8 Posted 29/01/2022 at 09:53:18
I agree that the manager is only part of the Everton problem. Hopefully the momentum of Evertonian protest that helped select Lampard will continue with pressure on Moshiri to be accountable and reduce the bad influence of Kenwright & Co.
9 Posted 29/01/2022 at 11:38:12
10 Posted 29/01/2022 at 11:45:41
However, as the manager is bedded in and the fans become acclimatised to his methods and style, it is still a results business.
As we all know conceding from set pieces has been a problem for us recently. That needs to be addressed as a priority, then he has to decide what is his best eleven on the pitch.
If Lampard is appointed and he produces results good enough to keep us in the league, he will then have the summer to get rid of the deadwood and build his own team.
11 Posted 29/01/2022 at 12:13:53
I wasn't aware of his defensive failings, but to be honest, I didn't really take much notice of Derby or Chelsea when he was there. That's a concern given our defence changes like the tide in terms of personnel on a weekly basis and looks to be destroyed of confidence following Benitez's destructive reign.
I thought he went too early when Chelsea came knocking, but he was never going to turn that chance down. Hopefully he's learned and comes back stronger. I do agree that although willing to give youth a chance (positive), he probably benefited from the several years of work and investment put into their academy. But if he spots it, he's willing to play it.
Brian, see you in May.
12 Posted 29/01/2022 at 12:26:32
However the support does have to get on board and back the team and manager to the wire.
13 Posted 29/01/2022 at 12:38:18
14 Posted 29/01/2022 at 12:38:44
Firstly, I think achieving Champions League football is more than just "relative success".
Secondly, I don't think Evertonians are expecting him to be the Messiah. He just appeared to be the best of the candidates on offer, which is why we've rallied behind him.
The fans effectively picked Lampard. I honestly think Moshiri is terrified of us.
15 Posted 29/01/2022 at 12:41:10
16 Posted 29/01/2022 at 12:51:08
Your comments about the Kenwright litter on the bench and at Finch Farm are key. We will know within 48 hours if Lampard is up to the job. If he cleans out the stables, he has a chance. If he keeps the deadwood, he will be lost like all the others.
17 Posted 29/01/2022 at 14:07:11
Because they have made a living, after their playing years are over, as backroom staff at the Club, they are accused of being in someone's pocket and derided as such.
Duncan Ferguson may have many faults but doesn't deserve the personal abuse he gets. If he is not the right man to manage or coach the club, then so be it... but I cannot give the man the sly remarks made here. He deserves more than that. At least he has been ready and willing to give his all on and off the pitch for us.
18 Posted 29/01/2022 at 14:34:06
19 Posted 29/01/2022 at 16:15:22
only thing is Lampard hasnt accepted the job yet!! So I cant even apply the term positive sceptic yet
He wouldnt have been my first choice yet, I thought Duncan as interim manager until the summer and then a thorough and rigorous process to find the next manager based on an agreed strategy of where we want to be as a club. I know,naïve on my part !
All the arguments go full circle of course and that is we are never going to get progressive governance and a coherent strategy while the club is owned by Moshiri.
Is Bramley Moore Dock going to be the albatross round our neck that keeps him here?
20 Posted 29/01/2022 at 17:35:26
What amazes me is how we chose our shortlist. Many of our younger contributors seem to rate David Moyes very highly. I'm more of a Tony Marsh man myself on this topic, but nevertheless, let's look how he was appointed. Everton looked around for a bright young manager who was doing a good job at a smaller club and Moyes at Preston was such a person.
Now we look for a name and the bigger the name the better. Lampard is certainly a name and a big one to boot. Potter was dismissed early on, Frank wasn't considered; Corberan at Huddersfiel was totally ignored as was Cooper at Forest.
Instead we picked five "names, some of which, Rooney and Ferguson were selected to be there because they were Everton "legends" rather than because of their expertise. If you wanted to go back, the only one of our recent managers to have possibly improved since he left us was Silva, who when he was appointed was a young, promising manager. His failure was perhaps the saddest of the failures of the last six managers.
The whole process seems to me to be an example of a management team who hasn't a clue. They recruit players on the basis of who has a name rather than who is needed to fill the gaps, particularly in midfield.
I know, let's find another wide man to supplement Gray, Townsend, Gordon, Richarlison. Yet we are screaming out for two quality midfielders.
I'm signing off. Fan of 65 years, very puzzled. I saw one game in our promotion season of 1953-54 and had hoped I'd never see us back in the second tier. But I'm scared we're heading back rapidly.
Lampard strikes me as an intelligent, young manager, perhaps my doubts and Martin O'Connor's fears will be swiftly erased. I hope so.
Incidentally, would any other club announce a new manager two days before a transfer deadline?
21 Posted 29/01/2022 at 19:14:03
I'm prepared to give him time to sort this absolute mess out. We need stability and someone long term; changing managers as often as we do, to go with the ineptitude in the boardroom, has got us in the position we now find ourselves.
Lampard has a very good name in the game and has worked under some top-drawer managers. We could've done much worse given some of the names in the frame.
22 Posted 29/01/2022 at 20:14:33
Those two statements suggest that Mr Barry is talented and knows what he is about.
But, he can't come to Everton, because of all the posters here, who complain about ex-Everton players earning a cosy living at Finch Farm.
You see, Anthony Barry is... well... an ex-Everton player!
23 Posted 29/01/2022 at 20:23:00
It's inevitable and understandable at just about every club.
The argument and concern is with people being employed in prominent positions on the simple basis they have previous connections with the club despite not having the experience or proven credentials. Because that's the perception we give.
That clearly wouldn't apply to Anthony Barry if we pulled that one-off. He is someone regarded by a top European coach and someone the European Champions wouldn't want to lose.
It doesn't matter who they are, whether they were born in L4, where they come from, what accent they have or who they used to play for. Pick them on ability and credibility in the game of football.
Lampard, Terry and Barry. Now that would bring a different culture to the club, the training ground and the pitch. Winners.
24 Posted 29/01/2022 at 20:44:03
I know that your post was slightly tongue-in-cheek but the big difference is that he is a top coach who also happens to be an ex-Everton player and it's the ‘top coach' part that makes Lampard want him and qualifies him for the role rather than solely by virtue of him being an ‘ex-Everton player‘.
25 Posted 30/01/2022 at 20:24:40
Was Lampard really as unsuccessful managing Derby and Chelsea? Were there any underlying circumstances? And on and on…
This is a departure from the high quality of the articles that ToffeeWeb usually publishes.
Just too negative for this week and only two days after Frank the Redeemer is tasked with guiding this club back to greatness. Oh happy day. Let's enjoy this moment before we go about trashing the process that the majority of Evertonia seem to agree has turned up a good result.
26 Posted 30/01/2022 at 20:51:49
He takes a rather jaundiced view of all things Everton. On occasions, it's even too much for us: four out of the last eight articles he's submitted for publication have been rejected.
However, you cannot deny that he captures and recasts a range of viewpoints that are evident among a number of our posters. We recognize and accept this while doing what we can to limit some of the excess negativity that the current situation for Everton supporters almost inevitably engenders.
I think, on balance, as our poll shows, must do prefer Frank Lampard when given the very limited choice of whose name was in the ring. But let's keep our feet firmly on the ground and not go overboard now a decision has finally been made.
We don't want to be controlling the narrative, as the buzz-phrase would have it. But I would certainly question your hyperbole for going too far the opposite way. "Frank the Redeemer"? Don't talk such rubbish. He's just the next manager. Let's actually see what he does before going all luvvie and religious over him.
But this may well be the last we publish from Martin because we'd prefer to see dialogue around the debate he generates... and that's one thing Martin does not do. He never posts on other threads, and he never responds to posts even on his own articles.
27 Posted 31/01/2022 at 08:09:30
28 Posted 31/01/2022 at 08:39:18
A move into management will be the making of Duncan. Wish him well.
29 Posted 31/01/2022 at 09:58:00
30 Posted 01/02/2022 at 19:25:30
On Lampard's year at Derby you note that "In the Wembley final he was tactically out-thought by Dean Smith," -- if you recall, Smith also "tactically out-thought" the 'great' Ancelotti, winning 2 and drawing 2 of their 4 PL clashes.
Lampard's purchases of two attacking midfield players suggests his front-foot approach is set to continue, something which might well add to our existing concerns over defensive problems. But I would suggest that our defensive performances cannot be any worse than what we've had to endure this season, in which case I am all for playing to our strengths, which are essentially seen amongst the likes of DCL, Richarlison, Gordon and Gray, now reinforced by Beek and, maybe, Alli. We've witnessed management 'philosophies' in recent seasons that have meant putting up with abysmal possession figures even for games at Goodison against mediocre opposition. Significantly raise our possession, play more in the opposition's half, and our defending becomes less of a worry.
31 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:00:06
Everything has been positive for the first time in a long time though, and this alone is a massive difference to the last seven months, especially at a football club, who have a crowd that is worth at least 20 points a season to its team, but only when they unite!
32 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:25:44
He has the same problem that our previous managers have had though and that is our overall player quallity.
The idea that any manager can come in, wave his magic wand over moderate players and turn them into worldbeaters is touching but false.
Our trophy cabinet which has been bare for 20 odd years I think proves the point.
As for Lampards so called defensive frailties as a manager, if you choose to play a more attacking strategy it stands to reason you will conceed more goals than concentrating on defence.
Anyone that came in at this difficult time would be under great pressure, he has my sympathy in that regard.
The last thing he needs is a lack of support because even though I think we will be ok, looking at our fixtures to come there are many that we will be fortunate to come away with anything.
33 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:26:02
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