Frank Lampard sacked by Everton? We’re supposed to believe Pep Guardiola could do no better

Lampard praises Calvert-Lewin Credit: Alamy
Lampard praises Calvert-Lewin Credit: Alamy

Frank Lampard might have been sacked by the time you read this but obviously he leaves with no blame attached because Frank.

 

Frankly speaking…
‘Frank Lampard is on the brink of the sack… but who would want the Everton job with Moshiri and Kenwright in charge?’ is the headline on The Sun website as the ‘what possible chance did Frank Lampard have?’ campaign goes into fifth gear ahead of his inevitable sacking.

Well, we were told by *checks notes* The Sun that ‘SEAN DYCHE heads a clutch of high-profile managers ready to answer Everton’s SOS should Frank Lampard be sacked’ just two weeks ago, and we see no reason to believe that anything has changed in the interim.

Jordan Davies now writes: ‘IS THERE anyone at Everton who is not on the brink? Boss Frank Lampard is on the brink of the sack. Owner Farhad Moshiri is on the brink of hiring a fifth manager in as many years.’

Yep. That’s the same thing, fella.

‘And who would take on this circus of a potential career-ending job anyway?

‘There are those that point to Sean Dyche, a man who knows a thing or two about survival.

‘He has made clear his desperation to prove himself at a top club after overachieving with Burnley, but Everton are barely in that category anymore.’

Well they absolutely are. They were 19th in the latest Deloitte rankings and their last two managers prior to Lampard were actual Champions League winners Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez.

The idea that a manager sacked by Burnley nine months ago would not take the Everton job is frankly ludicrous.

‘Lampard has his critics but there are not many coaches who could do better with this current squad.’

Sorry but that is bollocks. The very neutral number-crunchers at transfermarkt have Everton’s squad pegged as the 11th most valuable in the Premier League.

Discounting Southampton and Nathan Jones, that’s eight current Premier League coaches performing better than Lampard’s Everton with supposedly more valuable squads.

Does anybody seriously think that Thomas Frank or Steve Cooper or Roberto De Zerbi or Patrick Vieira could not do better with this Everton squad?

‘Richarlison was never replaced. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is injury prone. Seamus Coleman’s legs went years ago.’

Richarlison was never replaced with a player of similar quality – cry Brighton a river about that particular problem – but Lampard chose to spend £70m last summer on five players who have contributed four Premier League goals and two assists between them.

Is that anybody’s fault but Frank’s too?

Dominic King in the Daily Mail tells us that Frank Lampard was ‘doomed from the start’. This is hardly a surprise as King has previously written that ‘Pep Guardiola would be hard pushed to get vastly different results with Lampard’s squad’.

Carlo Ancelotti finished 10th with Everton literally two seasons ago. Nobody is quite expecting the same levels again but the Italian somehow eked a 21-goal season from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and only Richarlison, Lucas Digne and James Rodriguez have since left of any real note.

It’s not a brilliant squad but the idea that the best coach in Premier League history could not do better is a nonsense.

And now Lampard is on the brink…

‘Frank Lampard called his squad together at Finch Farm one day last week and left nobody in doubt about what was needed at West Ham.

‘Everton’s players were told, in no uncertain terms, that balls were required.’

Mediawatch would humbly like to suggest perhaps tactics might have been a better idea.

‘Really, he should have known better. The vast majority of this squad had accounted for managers with more glittering CVs than his and, after folding meekly 2-0 on Saturday, they have accounted for him, too.’

That is kind of ignoring the fact that Everton had an excellent manager in Ancelotti and he left of his own accord (“I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunities they have in front of them…”). And it also ignores the fact that Lampard has the worst managerial record of any permanent Toffees boss this century.

To repeat a point we have made before: Lampard is far from the only problem at Everton but is absolutely not the solution and never was.

‘He has had 357 days to try and revive an institution that has completely fallen asunder. He is many things but he is not a magician.’

Because only a magician could have claimed more than 35 points from 38 Premier League games as Everton manager. For the record, the previous 38 games under various managers had brought 42 points.

‘Lampard joins an ever-growing list of managers who have been bestowed with the responsibility of taking Everton forward on Farhad Moshiri’s watch but have been cast aside, the chopping and changing causing havoc along the way.

‘To see how things have changed, this statistic needs to be carefully digested: David Moyes was Everton manager for 11 years and oversaw 518 matches; the Moshiri era, which began in February 2016, has seen Everton play 304 games — the next man, including caretakers, will be the 12th change in the dugout.

‘Nobody has completed two full seasons in the hot seat. It really is remarkable to think that on December 27, 2020 Everton were second in the table.’

We’re pretty sure even the fickle Moshiri would have kept Ancelotti, by the way.

It’s possible to hold these two thoughts at the same time: 1) Everton are very badly run and 2) Frank Lampard is not a very good manager.

‘So here they are, scrabbling around for a man to take them forward, looking for a striker to score some goals when they do not have much money available and putting their trust in a group of players that, by and large, do not deserve it.

‘It is said that the mood within the dressing room after the defeats against Southampton and West Ham has been volcanic, with relations strained and tensions brewing.

‘They never showed balls, all they did was show their true colours. It is why they are taking Everton down.’

Has a football manager in relegation form ever been sacked by a club and been handed so little blame?

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