The former Chelsea midfielder had spent a year and a half in charge of his former club before being sacked in January 2021, with his replacement Thomas Tuchel immediately winning the Champions League
Frank Lampard will return to management with plenty of attention and plenty of pressure, moving to Everton a year after leaving his last managerial post.
The former Chelsea midfielder had spent a year and a half in charge of his former club before being sacked in January 2021, with his replacement Thomas Tuchel immediately winning the Champions League.
Since leaving Stamford Bridge, the 43-year-old has been linked with a number of Premier League positions, and was offered the Everton job by Farhad Moshiri after the owner changed his mind on former front-runner Vitor Pereira.
Moshiri has taken his time to identify a successor to Rafa Benitez, who was sacked in the middle of the month, with Wayne Rooney and current caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson also linked with the job.
The owner acted after a number of fans gathered outside Goodison Park in protest over the reported hiring of former Porto manager Pereira, prompting Pereira himself to issue a public statement on the matter.
Lampard has won the race, though, and now faces a very busy in-tray as he prepares for his first week in the new job.
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1. Instant results to settle nerves
This isn’t like a pre-season appointment, where the new manager has time with his squad to introduce them to his style of play and prepare them for the tasks ahead.
Lampard will have less than a week between his appointment and his first game in charge, and a little over seven days before his first Premier League game.
Victory in that and Everton can start looking up, but a defeat would see Eddie Howe’s side close to within just one point and make for a very nervy few months ahead.
2. Make the right noises for the fans
Benitez’s task was always a tough one, given his Liverpool associations, but he was never able to fully get the supporters onside.
Things ought to be a little easier for Lampard, if the graffiti outside Goodison Park is anything to go by, but easier doesn’t mean easy.
His first press conference can go some way to winning hearts and minds, and we’ve seen over the last few months how damaging a failure to do that can be.
Results can help too, but even Benitez won three of his first four games and that wasn’t enough.
3. Spend well when the moment comes
One of the last manager’s final acts was to let Lucas Digne leave for Aston Villa, and he may have given his successor a parting gift.
Some of the money received for the Frenchman went towards the signing of Vitaliy Mykolenko and young defender Nathan Patterson, but one would imagine he will have taken the job with the promise of more money to spend.
Lampard did well without spending in his first Chelsea season, but the 2020 close-season saw him oversee one of the Blues’ most important signings by bringing Edouard Mendy to west London.
The spending power won’t be the same on Merseyside, but the squad is in need of some work and there may be less margin for error.
4. Keep Calvert-Lewin happy
Much of Everton’s success last season centred around Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and their struggles this term have coincided with his unavailability.
With that in mind, the prospect of losing the England international striker doesn’t bear thinking about, and interest from Arsenal will concern some of the fanbase.
The 24-year-old will feel he is capable of playing for a team much higher up the table, and his performances last season leave no doubt.
Lampard’s challenge is to ensure Everton can be that club, and he may point to the work he did with Tammy Abraham at Chelsea to show Calvert-Lewin he can be trusted.
5. Unearth academy gems
There haven’t been many high points this season, but the development of Anthony Gordon certainly qualifies as one.
The 20-year-old scored his first Premier League goals in the defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in early January, and has shown he has the quality to start top-flight games for his boyhood side.
He is one of a number of academy players to feature for the first team this term, with Tyler Onyango and Lewis Dobbin among the others to pick up minutes.
Lampard earned a deserved reputation for bringing through academy talents in his previous jobs, either out of choice or out of necessity, and there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again.
6. Fix the defence
Before Benitez arrived at Everton, the Spaniard’s reputation suggested that, if nothing else, the team’s defensive concerns could be alleviated.
However, after the team conceded 24 goals in their first 19 games under Carlo Ancelotti last season, they shipped 34 in their first 19 this season.
Lampard hasn’t always overseen the best defensive records, with his Chelsea and Derby teams benefiting from attacking quality more than defensive solidity.
Chelsea had the worst defence in the top half of the Premier League in Lampard’s one full season, while Derby let in more than a goal a game despite reaching the Championship play-off final the previous year.
Everton’s last clean sheet came in early November against Tottenham Hotspur, with nine league games passing in the interim, and the task ahead is obvious.