Five key observations from Frank Lampard first Everton training session - as Dominic Calvert-Lewin not spotted
Frank Lampard is the new Everton manager and is back in work after being sacked by Chelsea a year ago.
and live on Freeview channel 276
After being appointed new Toffees manager, the former Chelsea midfield got out on the grass at the club’s USM Finch Farm base.
Everton have uploaded footage to their Youtube channel and here are five observations we made.
A calm but observant approach
We saw when Duncan Ferguson took training as caretaker boss that he was heavily involved in training.
There were constant barks and shouts of encouragement from the fans’ favourite as he looked to give the Everton players the lift they needed.
Lampard, however, appears quite the opposite when he’s in the middle.
Just for the fact he was wearing trainers rather than boots underlines he might not be as hands-on Ferguson or any predecessors.
During passing drills, he was fairly quiet watching on. “Enjoy it, enjoy the ball” was as tempestuous as things got.
That doesn’t mean things are going unnoticed, though.
Yet you could see that he was watching every small detail. He slowly paced around circles watching in the action and making observations.
Likewise, he was down on his haunches during shooting practice, getting a feel for the action.
There were plenty of stages when Lampard allowed his coaches to take the front foot.
He’s brought a highly well-respected backroom team with him that includes Joe Edwards, who was poached from Chelsea, and ex-Swansea manager Paul Clement.
It was assistant boss Edwards who delivered the instructions and told the players what was required during one drill.
Lampard was happy for his right-hand man to take charge. There was not an ounce of interference.
That underlines that there is already a high degree of trust between the coaching staff and manager.
Those sort of relationships are imperative at any club with designs of being successful.
Arm around Gray
Demarai Gray has had a superb season so far.
Bought for just £1.7 million last summer, he’s one of the few players who can hold his head high in the dressing room.
Lampard will be wary that he needs to keep Gray at the heights he’s been hitting - and potentially take him to the next level.
After one drill was over, Lampard made a point of strolling over to the ex-Leicester winger, put his arm around him and had a quiet word in his ear.
There were smiles on both of their faces as they walked away. Hopefully, it’s a relationship that continues to blossom.
There were a number of players missing for obvious reasons.
Given the session was on Monday, new boys Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli had yet to sign.
Meanwhile, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies are all on the treatment table.
And we know Yerry Mina and Salomon Rondon are away on international duty with Colombia and Venezuela respectively.
While the likes of January arrivals Nathan Patterson and Vitaliy Mykolenko were spotted, along with key men such as Gray, Richarlison and Jordan Pickford, there was one noticeable absentee.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was not with the team.
That’s not to say that the striker has suffered another injury, though, having just recovered from a four-month lay-off with a hip problem.
Given we are in the middle of a winter break, he Calvert-Lewin could well have been afforded an extra day off or had an important prior engagement.
Still, Lampard would have been disappointed not to have worked with the England international on his first day given how highly he’s rated by the newly-appointed boss.
There was one returning face involved.
Nigeria’s shock early exit from the African Cup of Nations means that Alex Iwobi is back on Merseyside.
The forward featured four times as the Super Eagles were knocked out of the tournament by Tunisia in the last 16 - in which he was given a 66th-minute red card.
It was more misery for Iwobi, who has endured a tough season and his confidence must be rock bottom.
He’s one player who Lampard must unlock, especially as Everton paid £35 million for him two-and-a-half years ago.