It has been a tough start to life at Goodison Park for Everton manager Frank Lampard after taking the reins from Rafael Benitez.
A 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in early February was a low point for the Toffees, but with new players still to settle and stars returning from injury, they look like they have enough to avoid the drop.
Lampard understanding the challenge ahead
While there was plenty of excitement about what Lampard could bring to the club following his appointment at the end of January, it’s been a brutal start for the former Derby County and Chelsea boss. Everton are currently priced at odds of 14/5 in the outright Premiership betting markets to be relegated from the top flight this season. They’ve lost four of their opening five Premier League games with Lampard at the helm, however, a 3-0 win over Leeds United at Goodison looked like it could have been a turning point, with the Toffees putting in a strong performance.
Unfortunately, subsequent defeats to Southampton, Manchester City and Tottenham without scoring a single goal showed the challenge that Lampard faces on Merseyside.
The fight to avoid the drop to the Championship looks like it could go down to the last couple of games of the season. Norwich City, Watford and Burnley all face uphill battles to climb up the standings, while the likes of Everton, Leeds United and Brentford still have plenty of work to do. While Lampard does have time to turn things around at Everton, if the Toffees’ form does not pick up quickly then the tension will start to build around Goodison Park.
Trio can play big role
Lampard was backed during the January transfer window, with midfielders Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli joining from Manchester United and Tottenham, respectively. Both players are still settling into their new surroundings and the approach their new manager is looking to implement.
It’s clear that Van de Beek has found himself a regular starter under Lampard while Alli has generally made a slower start to life with his new club. The England international is still looking to get back to the form that made him a key figure at Spurs and a regular starter for his country.
Everton fans will be hoping the return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to full fitness will feel like a new signing. The England striker has endured a torrid time with injuries this season but his return from the sidelines comes at a crucial time for the Toffees. Calvert-Lewin started the season brightly and if he can discover that form then he will be able to provide the crucial goals needed to avoid the dreaded drop down to the Championship.
Lampard’s honeymoon period was short-lived on Merseyside and the former Chelsea star is getting a taste of what life is like battling at the wrong end of the Premier League table.