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Everton analysis: The key issues facing new manager Lampard

| 31.01.2022

Examining the issues facing Lampard

Frank Lampard has replaced Rafael Benitez as Everton manager with a remit to keep the club in the Premier League.

Benitez was sacked a fortnight ago following a poor run of results which culminated in a 2-1 loss at Norwich and they are now 6/1 to be relegated.

We look at some of the issues which need addressing by the ex-Chelsea and Derby boss.

Squad strengthening

Last week the club lost Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph to injuries for at least four weeks, in addition to fellow central midfielder Tom Davies also being out until March at the earliest.

Filling that gap, both temporarily and longer term, is a priority, while another striker would not go amiss.

However, the clock is ticking and with no director of football, head of recruitment or chief scout in place, last-minute deals could be more complicated than necessary.

Establish some internal stability

Benitez’s dismantling of the admittedly under-performing football structure – the head of medicine was also jettisoned – in the short period he was at the club has left the job half-finished and created a vacuum in terms of top-notch experience to steer the club in a definitive direction.

Lampard will want to bring in some of his own choices, although the club’s ongoing strategic review may throw a spanner in those works.

Re-harmonise the fanbase

Protests by fans inside and outside Goodison Park have been largely directed at chairman Bill Kenwright and the way the club has been run over the last few years of gradual decline.

A new manager always provides a boost and, while Lampard does not have Everton connections, the supporters can console themselves with the fact he is not another Benitez-like figure such as prospective candidate Vitor Pereira or Sam Allardyce, who faced opposition even before the appointment was announced.

Improve results – and fast

Ten defeats in 13 matches, a return of six points from a possible 42, has left the club facing a relegation battle, four points above the drop zone.

Performances have been dreadful and the lack of fight within the squad is something which needs to be addressed immediately. Whether that mentality can be turned around quickly is open to question.

Rejuvenate the academy production line

Everton have produced a number of top homegrown talents but in recent years progress to the first team has stalled. A number of youngsters have been given game time this season, but more out of necessity than a clear pathway.

Anthony Gordon, who had previous loan spells at Preston and Swindon, is the one encouraging player to emerge from the chaos of the current campaign, although persuading Lewis Dobbin to sign a new contract last week is also a positive.

Lampard had experience at Chelsea of blooding – and succeeding with – youth, but it is unlikely to be a swift process.

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Author

Andrew McDermott