Frank Lampard comments on Everton's winless run and makes brutally honest recruitment and Rafa Benitez claims

Frank Lampard spent a year as Everton manager between January 2022-2023.

Frank Lampard admitted that it was clear Everton had made a 'lot of mistakes' in the transfer market as soon as he took charge of the club.

Lampard spent a year in the Goodison Park hot seat between January 2022-2023. The former Chelsea boss succeeded Rafa Benitez, who was much-maligned by supporters during his four-month tenure while there was a fractured relationship between the fans and the board of directors.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Lampard successfully guided the Toffees to Premier League survival, which was secured with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace on the penultimate day of the season. But he would depart Everton midway through the following campaign as Everton sat second-bottom of the table and two points adrift of safety.

Lampard was the seventh permanent manager under Farhad Moshiri's ownership, with more than £500 million spent on new players by predecessors Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Maro Silva, Carlo Ancelotti and Benitez.

The ex-England international conceded that he inherited an unbalanced squad. And in the summer of 2022, financial difficulties - with Everton subsequently being hit with a six-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules - meant that he knew there would not be a marked improvement.

Speaking to JOE, Lampard said: "I never imagined myself managing Everton and I don't mean that disrespectfully, it's the opposite. I grew up when Everton were a great team in the mid-1980s and was very aware of the huge history of the club and a great fan base.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When I went for the interview, they had been struggling with the manager who had left and there was a lot of negativity - the fans clearly didn't like the manager. I went in there with a real football plan in the interview, how I wanted to play, got the job.

"I walked into a really positive thing from the fans. You'll never get it 100% but they were great for me; in the process, when I left, even now. That I appreciate but in terms of the club itself, I was suprised where it was at in terms of feeling. I think it was something like one win in 14, a typical situation when you get a job mid-season, something is not quite right. But the feeling of doom this club was going to do down for the first time in many years, it's a real proud thing for Evertonians they've not gone down in such a long time, but there was this feeling of maybe we will. When you have something around your neck, the fans and players were engulfed and there's a bit of fear, it's a real challenge to overcome. You need to get confidence back in the players and breathe some fresh air.

"I could feel that tension from the ownership. The chairman, Bill Kenwright who has sadly passed away, was fantastic for me as a support. He was a huge Evertonian and wanted the right thing for the club but it was clear a lot of mistakes had been made in recruitment. It was an unbalanced squad, players on long contracts, five centre-backs but not strong in this area of that area. There were a lot of bad feelings around and we had to work quick-time to try to change this feel.

"We tried to change the way we play a bit, and move forward - we're not going to play ultra-attacking football but can we be a bit more progressive? We lost a game 4-0 at Tottenham on Sky and you got the usual reaction and as staff, we had to change the angle of it; more compact, engage the fans.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"As a coaching lesson for me, it was great. Credit to the whole club in the end. The fans played a huge part, the players dug in, we went to a back five, became more compact, harder to beat, engaged Goodison and created one of the best nights along with Munich (when he won the Champions League as a player with Chelsea in 2012) is staying up with Everton. It was a moment of huge elation and I was fortunate enough to play a part in it.

"I think I then knew there were more difficulties coming. FFP was there, we knew Richarlison would leave, we could bring in some players but the net spend was not far off zero. We couldn't really move forward, I wanted to change the way we play. [James] Tarkowksi came in on a free, Conor Coady came on loan, we brought in a couple of players. But as we tried to progress, Dominic got injured so we played Neal Maupay and he struggled to get in there so we were playing without an effective number nine."

Sean Dyche succeeded Lampard as Everton boss. The Blues stayed up on the final day of last term and their points tally has improved this campaign despite the points deduction. However, Everton are winless in their previous 11 Premier League games and now sit just four points above the relegation zone.

However, Lampard has sympathy for Dyche as the long-standing problems at Goodison still exist. He added: "This isn't me making excuses because you will lose your job if you don't get results and in that last period of time, we couldn't get results. When I left the job, I got it. The problem for me, with Everton now - I have quite a big feeling for Everton because I really enjoyed being there for a year - there are similar problems and mistakes that have been made are still kind of there. I've watched them a lot.

"People can so easily comment on Sean Dyche or they haven't won in this many games - it's not easy to turn it. A great club trying to make up for and that will be a process, in my opinion, again."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.