After a 3-1 defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Newcastle United in his first Premier League game, new Everton boss Frank Lampard will already know the scale of the challenge ahead of him. Brought in to replace Rafael Benitez at Goodison Park, Lampard will need to start changing Everton’s fortunes soon or risk a nervous end to the season in a relegation dogfight.
Lampard Brought Back Down to Earth
It was all smiles for the former Derby County and Chelsea manager when his side cruised to a 4-1 win over Brentford in his first game in the Everton dugout. The Toffees, who are 4/1 in the football betting to be relegated from the Premier League this season, made light work of Thomas Frank’s Bees and deservedly booked their place in the FA Cup fifth round.
However, Lampard was not brought to Merseyside to lift the FA Cup this season but to ensure Everton retain their top-flight status for next term.
A heavy defeat up at St James’ Park, against a Newcastle side that had only won two league games in 21 outings, shows the challenge that Lampard faces. The former England midfielder is someone who is still in the early stages of his managerial career and has not yet had to deal with the pressure of a relegation scrap.
The key for Everton will be to get wins on the board quickly and not let a potential relegation scrap turn into a full-blown crisis.
Lampard was approached for managerial positions before taking the role at Everton and clearly, he saw enough in the squad at Goodison Park to take up the job. With Newcastle starting to pick up wins and the likes of Burnley, Norwich, and Watford fighting for their survival, the Toffees can’t afford to think results will come good eventually.
New Recruits and Returning Stars Can Provide Lift
What will give the side a boost going forward are the arrivals of midfielders Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli in the January window. Both players started on the bench against the Magpies but are likely to be regular starters going forward into the business end of the season.
Both players have points to prove, with Alli falling out of favor at Tottenham and Van de Beek struggling for game time at Manchester United. Undoubtedly both players can bring plenty to this Everton side that are in desperate need of that added quality in the middle of the park.
Another major boost is the return of star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin to full fitness. The England striker has struggled with injuries this season but returned to the bench for the defeat at Newcastle.
Goals have been in relatively short supply, with Everton scoring 24 goals in their first 20 games of the season prior to Lampard joining, which left the Merseyside outfit with a -11 goal difference at that stage.
Lampard will need the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Alli, and Van de Beek to start making an impact over the coming weeks, otherwise, a nervy end to the season awaits all concerned with Everton Football Club.