It seemed the whole world already knew that Frank Lampard had been sacked for hours before Everton finally decided to make it official at 8:15pm tonight. The 44-year-old leaves the club with immediate effect along with all his support staff except for goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly who will stay on.
Youth team coaches Paul Tait and Leighton Baines will be taking training with the first team for now until a new appointment is made, with the Blues’ next game coming in 12 days at home against league leaders Arsenal.
Lampard has been a dead man walking for some time now so this dismissal comes as no surprise to anyone - his abysmal coaching record speaks volumes about the poor job he did at the Toffees, with his win percentage the second lowest in club history, and the start to the 2022-23 season the worst ever since Everton were formed in 1878.
We asked the team here at Royal Blue Mersey to weigh in with their thoughts on Lampard, his dismissal, where it all went wrong, was he set up to fail, or is coaching at this level out of his range right now.
Probably the only thing the fans and the board were aligned on was that they didn’t really want to sack Frank. After the events of the Moshiri era, we all realise that we’ve got to give a manager time to build. Unfortunately, Frank’s results were nothing short of atrocious and it’s hard to see how we could possibly have stayed up under him. Therefore, sadly, he just had to go.
This was always going to be a year to rebuild and most of the transfer work in the summer was pretty good. However, a lack of forwards options (especially a striker during the opening games of the season) has seen us throw away points needlessly – even on the rare occasions we’ve played well.
A controversial opinion: I don’t think we’re far off from having a potentially good team. The key weaknesses that need addressing are more forward options (i.e. a DCL alternative and 1 or 2 wingers to bring from the bench), plus a left-back that offers something going forward. The next manager through the door needs to address the imbalances ASAP and find a way to make the most of the talent we do have.
I was very hopeful things were going to work out with Lampard. He was beaming with confidence when he first joined and throughout his tenure, you really felt the ‘he gets the club’ kind of mentality.
Unfortunately, niceties can only get you so far in this fickle business. The Board is still a mess, and while I don’t ultimately think Kenwright and Co. caused his downfall, I don’t necessarily think they helped things either. While this sadly should’ve been done months ago, there’s still plenty of time and even a slight glimmer of hope for Everton to sort through this (so far) disastrous season.
To say that Lampard had anything to do with this firing is unfair but not surprising. The last game provided the perfect evidence. We were down 2-0 away from home and changes needed to be made. Enter Dwight McNeil and Tom Davies. The club has given him no support and when Richarlison was sacrificed for the bottom line, the response was pathetic. Replacing managers has not moved us forward. Why would this be different, unless the goal is just to survive every year. I thought we were better than that and certainly doesn’t align with NSNO which IS our motto!
Lampard has been sacked. The question now is how to move forward. Do we go the interim manager route for the short term in hopes of getting a long term solution or do we do “an Allardyce” and just fix the issue of relegation (hopefully). I am not sure that either will save us from the drop without a change in player personal... and the roundabout continues to turn.
How did we get here? With the arrival of Moshiri, too many managers were sacked and hired who were not given the time to implement a plan. This was done in conjunction with irresponsible spending on ineffective players. Lampard was working with players who were brought into the club by six different managers. The combination of the two have left the club with no vision and no finances.
It was the ONLY decision the club could make. The worst win record since the hapless Mike Walker in the mid 90s. No stamp at all on the brand of football the fans could expect. Yes “backs to the wall” defence against the better teams and to the fair, OK at that but clueless how to put a winning team together against teams we should beat if we have any ambition. Biggest disappointment that he didn’t have the belief to play younger players but chose to hide behind under performing senior players.
The overwhelming feeling I have about Everton at the moment is sadness and that has continued with the departure of Frank Lampard. He is a good man who embraced Everton, refused to use the other issues at the club as an excuse and formed a bond with the fans during that dramatic survival bid last season.
But, ultimately, the results were just not good enough and there were no signs of improvement. Removing Lampard will not make all the other problems disappear, but that’s not a good enough reason to keep him on either.
It’s a shame that it ends like this for Frank Lampard- a man who took the club into his own heart more than any other manager since the departure of David Moyes. Lampard understood what it meant to be an Evertonian and what Evertonians want, but he was ultimately unable to deliver that for a myriad of reasons.
Personally, I think this decision should have been made weeks ago, and potentially even before the World Cup break in order to let the new manager have time with the squad during those weeks of training, and also to create a shortlist of transfer targets for this January window which has almost flown by without a single announced arrival at the time of writing.
Now, we find ourselves exactly where we were last year: in a relegation scrap without a manager and with the transfer window closing in quickly. Where the club goes from here, I’m not sure. It’s going to be an uphill battle, and if I’m honest, not one I believe we will win.
Lampard should never have been considered for the Everton job, but with Moshiri and the current Everton board running the show, it was either him or another unqualified, unpopular candidate, in Vitor Pereira. Frank was too naïve and inexperienced to handle what was - and continues to be - an incredibly difficult job and without major support in the transfer market he was always going to struggle. He needed to adapt and learn quickly and unfortunately lacked that capacity, making the same mistakes game after game.
Having Richarlison, by far Everton’s best attacking player sold out from under him and not adequately replaced certainty made his task a lot harder. Lampard had to find a way of playing to compensate for the squad’s inadequacies but failed in that regard, hence the terrible, unsustainable run of poor form and results the club has suffered through for most of the season. Relieving him of his duties was the only decision that could be made in such circumstances as he was showing absolutely no signs of being able to turn things around. Of course, the bulk of the blame lies on those who decided to appoint him in the first place; Frank just wasn’t ready.
Frank Lampard was a highly decorated player but that hasn’t transferred as a manager, so far. An honest man, who I truly believed has a real affinity with the Everton fanbase, as well as a true determination to succeed, he was out of his depth and it began to show.
That being said, with our current board, it is going to take a very unique, strong individual to turn us around. Absolutely fine to want to repaint if the colour fades, but you really need to deal with the cracks in the walls and the rotten foundations if the Club is to be successful.
It’s pretty unfortunate things had to end this way, but it’s no surprise really. Lampard’s lack of tactical awareness got shown up right from his first day, but it seemed like he was able to motivate the players to a somewhat higher level to overcome that. However, the Blues have been found out and Lampard just does not have any answers, and when that happens it’s pretty much time to go.
Nothing to say about the man himself - his friendly demeanour and how he gets the club is pretty rare at this level, but ultimately in a big-money, results-oriented business, he simply doesn’t have what it takes to succeed and had to go.
Oh, while we’re on this topic, Lampard really should have been relieved of his duties way back in November during the World Cup break, but that falls on the incompetent Board and that’s a whole other roundtable’s worth of discussion for another day.