Frank Lampard today held his first press conference since joining Everton, with the new manager also previewing the upcoming all-Premier League clash against Brentford in the FA Cup Fourth Round on Saturday at Goodison Park.
The new manager delivered a very eloquent and well-spoken interview, showing both his knowledge of the game and the club. One of the first questions he was asked was about how he felt the Board showed him their support with bringing in two big signings on deadline day itself, and what he expected out of the pair of Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli.
“I’ve had really positive conversations with the owner, the Board, and the club in general from the first moment we started to speak. It was very linked together, and particularly with the chairman, Bill Kenwright, he was fantastic in those conversations as well, I can see why this club is held in such regard, it is the people’s club.
“In terms of the business we did, they are both separate cases. I just look at them as a player, and as a person. I’ve had conversations with both, they’re both very, very talented players and they’re both players I have gone up against in the past and I’ve been impressed with them.
“Sometimes it’s good to get a player with a point to prove because they come here with a hunger to show themselves in their own separate ways. I trust in their talent and trust them as people. My job now is to set the environment as a coach and staff to support them, and to show the natural ability they have, and we have to harness it.
“We have to get the enjoyment into this squad, because we have some talent already sitting here in this squad, and it’s my job to put it all together.”
Everton earlier confirmed that his former teammate (and possibly the only other left back revered a tad more than Leighton Baines) Ashley Cole has joined Lampard’s coaching staff, with the interim manager and assistant under the last two bosses Duncan Ferguson also staying on.
“I don’t need to talk about Ashley the player, we all know him, he is probably the greatest left back we have produced in this country. But what I brought him in for is the great coach he is going to be at this club. The work ethic that I have seen him put in behind the scenes to become a young coach.
“Not just that, the person that he is, the words of experience he can offer to the group, to work alongside my staff and improve all of them. The team is together.
“I was delighted to work with Duncan. I saw him from afar, I saw him close up actually when they beat us [during Ferguson’s first interim stint], and we had a laugh about that! He’s a legend, a person that the players respect, the club respects, the fans respect, and he can only help from tapping into his knowledge and experience.
“I’m very open and accommodating, and always want to look at what is best for this job, and having Duncan around has been great, I’ve really enjoyed the last few days.”
Both Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez talked about the prospect of taking Everton into their new stadium currently under construction at the Bramley-Moore dock, did Lampard connect with them before taking the job?
“I didn’t speak with them. I have a huge amount of respect for the both of them, I’m particularly close with Carlo because I worked with him and we kept up a good relationship after that. I will speak with him at some point, but I didn’t want to have any preconceptions or ideas about the club.
“It was very clear to me from the first conversations that I know Everton Football Club from the outside, and will now know it from the inside. It is clear to me the ambition of this club, from the stadium and the identity is a huge thing and I would love to be a part of that, but I cannot get ahead of myself.
“We have important jobs on our plates for the next two-three-months this season, and then we can start dealing with what the future looks like.”
Being the sixth man to take on the role in six years, the new manager was also asked if he was concerned with the turnover at the role, and what was his target for the season and how he could influence this squad.
“This is the business we live and work in. It’s not my job to analyze the things that happened before me too much because you don’t know the circumstances. Having spoken to the owner, the chairman and the Board here, it was so open and it was refreshing to me to see so many football people within the club united in trying to find the best way forward.
“I can assure the fans I will give everything I can. I have endured tough times, you can have good periods and bad periods. I don’t concern myself too much about what our position is in the table, I just look at literally what’s in front of me.
“Of course, you are aware of it, but we will be defined this season over the next 18 games by the work and focus we put in on the training ground, and how united we can be between the players, club and fans because the fans have such a huge impact here on the performance particularly at Goodison.
“Sometimes when you lose games or having a bad period of form, it can affect the confidence of the players. My job instantly is to effect that, to make it a positive atmosphere, positive words, positive messaging. I have seen things within the team that they can do better. My job is to very quickly get the team to the point where you can see my imprint on the team.”