Exclusive: Frank Lampard offered Everton job as tortuous manager search nears conclusion

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Frank Lampard, manager of Chelsea, arrives prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal in 2020 - GETTY IMAGES
Frank Lampard, manager of Chelsea, arrives prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal in 2020 - GETTY IMAGES

Frank Lampard has been offered the job of Everton manager, which the club hope should now bring to a close the tortuous process to find the successor to Rafael Benitez.

The former Chelsea and Derby County manager impressed in his second interview on Thursday and the decision was taken soon after by owner Farhad Moshiri and his advisors. The details of Lampard’s contract, including length and termination payments, are still yet to be determined but as of Friday night it was anticipated that both parties would be able to reach agreement.

The 43-year-old is expected to be in place on Merseyside this weekend ready for the return of the squad from the mid-season break and some immediate and very difficult challenges. The Everton squad first have to negotiate next Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Brentford followed by a critical game the following Tuesday away at 18th place Newcastle United, just four points behind them.

Lampard was interviewed again formally this week and made himself the stand-out candidate. He had been out of work for just over a year following his sacking after 18 months at Chelsea. Meeting the coaches in the frame for the job was the priority for the board as they negotiated fan unrest and a process that was often conducted in public.

That was the case with the Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira who confirmed in an extensive broadcast interview on Wednesday that he was a contender for the job. He did so as Everton fans graffitied Goodison Park on Tuesday night protesting what then seemed like the impending appointment of the well-travelled Pereira, who last worked in Turkey for Fenerbahce before his sacking before Christmas.

Graffiti spray painted onto Goodison Park tonight protesting against the appointment of Vitor Pereira - @EvertonNewsFeed
Graffiti spray painted onto Goodison Park tonight protesting against the appointment of Vitor Pereira - @EvertonNewsFeed

The current Derby manager Wayne Rooney was another in whom Moshiri and club chairman Bill Kenwright, the former principal shareholder, had expressed an interest in interviewing formally for the job. Rooney said today that he had turned down that opportunity to focus on the Herculean task of saving Derby from dropping into League One with the burden of a Football League 21-point deduction.

The current Everton caretaker manager, Duncan Ferguson, his second stint in the role, is also understood to have been interviewed in London today. The club had switched to those four candidates after the withdrawal of their first choice, Roberto Martinez, earlier this month when the Royal Belgian Football Association blocked any possibility of a job-share with the Belgium national team in a World Cup finals year.

Lampard takes a squad low on confidence with just one league win since Sept 25 and facing the prospect of being drawn into the relegation battle. The club have made three signings this window, with the deadline looming on Monday. New injuries to Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph may also affect the club’s thinking as they prepare to do business in the last three days of the window.

As well as a look at any potential new signings, Lampard will also have to assemble his coaching team which will be different in one respect to that which he worked with in previous jobs. His long-term assistant and former team-mate Jody Morris is keen to forge his own managerial career. Chris Jones, the coach who worked with Lampard at Derby and Chelsea, having previously been at Chelsea when Lampard was a player, is available and looks a likely fit.

Derby County manager Frank Lampard (centre), assistant manager Jody Morris - PA
Derby County manager Frank Lampard (centre), assistant manager Jody Morris - PA

During his time at Chelsea, Lampard also promoted to his first team staff Joe Edwards, a Chelsea academy coach whom the club value highly. In addition he appointed the former Wigan Athletic coach – and Liverpudlian - Anthony Barry whom Lampard had met on his Uefa Pro License course. Edwards and Barry have both been integrated into Thomas Tuchel’s staff since he took over at Stamford Bridge and the decision to release them from their contracts mid-season would have to be taken by Chelsea.

There are huge expectations at Everton for their new manager who has to begin by reinvigorating the squad he inherits from Benitez, under whom he played in the 2012-2013 season when the Spanish coach was interim manager at Chelsea. Everton have an unbroken run in the top-flight of the English game which goes back to 1954, second only to Arsenal in terms of longevity. Since Moshiri took a controlling stake in the club in Feb 2016, Everton have finished no higher than seventh, in what was his first full season of 2016-2017.

It is estimated that Moshiri has spent around £500 million so far investing in the squad and it is anticipated that the new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock in the former Unesco World Heritage Site will require around the same funding levels. Thus far the club has lacked a unifying long-term vision and it is hoped that Lampard, who lead Chelsea to Champions League qualification in his only full season at the club, in spite of a two-window transfer embargo, fits the bill.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting