Three goals in six minutes condemned Everton to what felt like a night of turning points for the Toffees. Some fans left the ground with 55 minutes on the clock, but most waited until the full-time whistle to vent at Farhad Moshiri, Bill Kenwright, and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale. The defeat is a signal of yet another crisis for the blue team on Merseyside and painfully exposed the gulf between Everton and a far more optimally-run club in Brighton. The question now is whether manager Frank Lampard’s days in the dugout are numbered. Check out SinkorSwimSports as we ask: ‘is it the end for Frank?’
Everton appointed Frank Lampard back on 31 January 2022 following the dismissal of Rafael Benitez earlier that month. Following the Spaniard’s dismissal, Everton were 15th with just one win in 13 games.
6 Wins in the final 13 games of the season meant that Everton narrowly avoided relegation, and was rewarded with roughly £85m worth of spending in the summer (though Richarlison’s £60m move to Spurs compensated for a significant portion of that).
It’s safe to say that during his still relatively short managerial career, Frank Lampard still isn’t a name that convinces everyone. Criticized for being a manager who has been given lucrative positions based on his playing career rather than tactical acumen, criticisms have been amplified over the course of Everton’s sluggish start to the 2022/23 season.
Everton have only won 3 of their opening 19 Premier League matches, and are winless in 6.
The side won a lot of plaudits for their battling draw at the Etihad coming into Tuesday’s match at Goodison, however, that winless run leaves them just one point above the relegation zone. Given the run Benitez was on when he was dismissed, it might get to the point where the board has a decision to make.
A Mighty Collapse
Everton’s 4-1 loss to Brighton would eventually mark the biggest loss of the Toffees’ season, but actually, the side started the game reasonably well. However, the side failed to heed the warning Karou Mitoma gave them when he headed wide and fell behind in the 14th minute when the Japanese attacker beat Connor Coady and fired past Jordan Pickford.
1-0 Is a recoverable scoreline, however conceding three goals in six minutes is a surefire way of making things less manageable. Goals from youngster Evan Ferguson on his first Premier League start, Solly March and Pascal Gross took the game out of reach to Everton, triggering a small exodus from the stands and a very large chorus of boos at the full-time whistle.
During the match, Everton only managed to muster up 19% of the game’s chances, and only 4 shots on target across the ninety.
Is Lampard To Blame?
Speaking about the match afterward, Lampard put the defeat down to: “individual mistakes and collective defending issues. We’re all in it together, it’s not a question of anger. We’re all disappointed, we all want to win games.”
The 4-1 loss was Lampard’s 19th loss in 36 games and sees Everton slump to just 0.83 points per game this season. The Toffees are averaging 1.33 goals against every game, whilst only scoring 0.78. They have also only registered more than 50% possession four times in the league across 2022/23, and their 3.33 shots on target per ninety are comfortably the rest of the league’s average at 16.33.
In short, they are side that are shipping chances, not keeping the ball, and not generating opportunities of their own. Sides like Brighton, Brentford, and Newcastle are everything Everton aren’t right now.
And yet, solely blaming the manager in the same ways as they have done in the past doesn’t feel like a meaningful step in the right direction anymore. One Alex Iwobi cost more than the entire Brighton squad during their game on Tuesday, which speaks volumes about the financial mismanagements the club have been operating with for years even before Lampard’s appointment.
Everton are a club without direction or much of a plan and, regardless of where you place the blame most strongly, it’s shaping up to be another potential season of crisis at Goodison Park.
Red Bulls, James Anderson and Christian Pulisic enthusiast. Still unsure how Wes Brown wrangled himself a Champions League medal – Premier League, Cricket and Major League Soccer contributor at SinkorSwimSports.