Everton boss Frank Lampard adds the personality… now for the points!

Frank Lampard adds the personality… now for the points! The Everton manager needs to lead his side to a first home Merseyside derby win for 12 YEARS to light the blue touchpaper after last year’s struggles

  • Frank Lampard has explained the difficulties of his rebuild at Goodison Park 
  • Everton have collected a draw in their last three Premier League fixtures
  • But the Merseyside club are still yet to pick up their first league win of the season
  • Everton face Liverpool on Saturday in search of first home derby win in 12 years

In Frank Lampard’s mind, his attempt to rebuild Everton will be a steady and methodical process. On derby day at Goodison Park it can be easy for that message to get lost.

Everton have not beaten Liverpool at home for 12 years. Soon the club will be gone from the L4 postcode, off down the road to a new home by the docks.

One more big day at the old place would be welcome before they go and Lampard, manager of the club only since January, would doubtless kill for something like that. 

Frank Lampard has spoken about the difficulties of his task of rebuilding Everton

His team, starting to look a little different after another transfer window, are winless in the Premier League. Still Lampard attempted to paint a bigger picture. One that drew less on emotion and more on realism.

‘I am very driven and Evertonians are very driven and want to get back to where we want to be,’ said Lampard. ‘But it’s hard to set expectations because this Premier League is so challenging.

‘There are clubs in and around us who are more stable and are spending money at a higher rate than we are. 

‘To think we can go from a relegation battle and solve those problems in a window (is wrong). And you can’t solve them in one day on the training pitch. I think Evertonians are very understanding. No one is expecting us to go to the moon.’

Everton’s problems are twofold. One is simply called Liverpool. Most teams would suffer by comparison. The other runs deeper and is to do with their self-image; their own perception of who they are and where they should be.

Mikel Arteta scored in Everton’s last win over Liverpool at Goodison Park back in 2010

Historically, one of England’s top clubs, it still feels from the outside that they should be a top eight team. The squad says differently.

Lampard and the club’s new football director Kevin Thelwell have recruited pragmatically, looking to add dependability and mental toughness. Defenders Conor Coady and James Tarkowski are examples. But Everton still look short of potency and — dare we say it — a little glamour. That will have to be generated over time.

‘Character is a talent and a skill in its own right,’ said Lampard. ‘My gut feeling is that Conor Coady was telling people what to do when he was 12 years old.

‘But you have to buy it unless you are a manager fortunate enough to walk in to a club where you see people sitting in the corner who you can tap in to. If you don’t see it you have to recruit it.

Lampard hailed the character of Conor Coady following his arrival from Wolves

‘You need enough players who will pass on the message of what you are trying to do. You get an hour and a half on the training ground every day but the players will spend much more time than that together. So if you have people who are passing the message on it makes your job a lot easier.’ 

Lampard has overseen one derby at Everton. His team lost 2-0 at Anfield last April on a day when his team frustrated Liverpool for an hour. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was accused of time wasting that day — his opposite number Alisson Becker lampooning him late on when the game was won — and the England No 1 was in that conversation once again this week as Everton drew at Leeds.

Lampard was firm on the matter yesterday and said: ‘As soon as the ball went out into the crowd at Leeds they were booing and whistling at Jordan to take the kick quickly when he didn’t even have the ball in his hand.

‘We have to be very careful as managers. There are loads of moments where teams are seeing out a game and people could say, ‘What about your team?’

‘So you have to be careful you don’t get caught up in double standards. It’s very important the referees manage the game well and the players don’t try to waste time. But if the ball is in the crowd I am not expecting Jordan to sprint 30 steps up and bring it back.’

Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez could return to the Liverpool starting XI at Goodison Park

On another live issue yesterday Lampard was non-committal. Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez — should he play — will not be provoked by Everton’s players after his recent sending-off for retaliation against Crystal Palace. Lampard did smile at the question, though. More widely, Lampard says he looks at his squad now and is much happier. What he needs now is some points.

‘Outside the fanbase maybe there is a more casual or lazy view that Everton are big historically and should be in the top eight after the money that we spent a while ago,’ he added. ‘But it doesn’t work that way.

‘If I ask what the plan was this summer, it was this. Can we bring more personality into the team? ‘Can we be more solid at the back? Can we bring more youth that will develop and get better? I think we have done that. Now it’s up us — and me — to work and show that we are doing a good job.’

Asked if this looks like a top-10 squad, he did not hesitate. ‘It’s not worth answering that as the only way to show that is to work and get there,’ he said. ‘We have played well at different times this season but haven’t won a game yet. So first things first.’




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