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Everton fans made their bed, it’s now time for a long-overdue lie in it

When word began spreading around the blue half of Liverpool that Everton was on the cusp of appointing Vitor Pereira as their new manager to replace Rafael Benitez, the Toffees faithful took matters into their own hands by drowning out social media with furious calls for the club to reverse their decision. One supporter even went as far as graffitiing the words 'Pereira out, Lampard in' on the walls of Goodison Park.

Indeed, the race had been between the Portuguese manager and Lampard, but the Everton board seemed to have been more impressed by what Pereira had presented in terms of reviving the club’s fortunes during the interview process.

However, they were never able to appoint their chosen candidate and subsequently caved in after being harangued by the club’s fan base over their handling of the matter. Instead, Lampard was handed the reins and tasked with keeping the club out of the Championship after being given a two-and-a-half-year deal. The power of the people had won 

Have the players responded to Lampard?

everton players

Two months on from that appointment and Lampard has only managed to pick up six points out of a possible twenty-one since taking over. Furthermore, Everton lies only a handful of points off the relegation places and have still only won once on the road all season. In short, the new manager bounce that normally arrives when a fresh face comes in hasn’t taken place at Goodison Park and, in reality, Everton are now faced with an almighty fight for their Premier League lives. 

This list of the best online betting sites, all of which are offering various sign-up bonuses including free bets, all price Lampard's Everton as one of the teams that could realistically fall through the trapdoor and into the Championship in the late spring. Currently, the price on the Toffees going down has dropped to 9/4 according to acclaimed bookmakers Bet365, who are featured on the aforementioned list. This isn’t quite odds-on territory just yet, but awfully worrying given that the odds are falling every week.

This sad state of affairs does inevitably make you question the wisdom of the supporters who pined so desperately for Lampard to take charge. What was it all for?

Benitez started the fire 

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that Everton's problems run deep and much of the blame can, and should, be put at the feet of Benitez, whose poor conflict management led to a host of top-level departures from the club only for the Spaniard to be shown the door as well.

By this time, however, Everton had already lost the services of director of football Marcel Brands and key left-back Lucas Digne, who Benitez had spectacularly fallen out with. In short, Benitez should never have been able to enjoy the level of power that he was able to wheel at Goodison Park given the key personnel the club lost on his watch.

In many respects, the 61-year-old should have known better than to alienate a large part of the club’s backroom staff, especially as he was one of the highest-paid managers in the Premier League at the time of his sacking. 

Crucially, Everton was a broken and divided club when the Spaniard was given his marching orders. Pitifully, this should have been the catalyst for a strong and proven managerial change in order to galvanise everyone for the upcoming Premier League fight for survival.  

Instead, as touched on, the clamour for Lampard’s services was deafening. The vocal support for Lampard left a spineless board unable to follow the courage of their convictions by appointing Pereira. This is where Everton fans have to take accountability: Lampard's entirely unconvincing CV was there for everyone to peruse over before he was made the club's new boss.

Be careful what you wish for 

Speak to Stamford Bridge going fans on match day and they will now tell you that they qualified for the Champions League in spite of having Lampard as their manager. In addition to that, Derby County supporters will tell you that Lampard finished in the same position with better players in the Championship and was even a point worse off than the tally predecessor Gary Rowett was able to amass when he took the Rams to the playoffs after finishing in sixth during the 2017/2018 season. 

Perhaps most crucially of all, though, is not Lampard’s lack of tactical acumen but rather his tendency to throw his players under the bus when the going gets tough. The 43-year-old did just that following a thumping 4-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup at the end of March, as he accused his charges of lacking character and desire. 

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that confidence is already at an all-time low for any team fighting relegation and that public dressing-downs will do very little in the quest to find a sense of harmony that will see a team pull away from trouble.

Conversely, look at how American Jesse Marsch has rallied Leeds United by putting his arm around his players instead of kicking them. Leeds was in a similar situation to Everton when they changed manager to avoid the drop and now look to be within touching distance of safety. 

Everton meanwhile, keep sliding towards disaster and it’s increasingly clear that Lampard won’t be the man to stop the worst-case scenario from happening. 

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