Former Derby County and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was announced as Everton’s new manager on the last day of January 2022. He was to be the clubs’ seventh manager since David Moyes’ 11-year reign came to an end in 2013 and was not taking on an easy task given the clubs current league position.
Lampard’s first game in charge was a fourth-round FA Cup clash with fellow Premier League side Brentford and it looked like new manager syndrome had kicked in as his side put for past their opponents for the first time in a game for almost exactly 12 months.
However, it is points on the board that the Toffee’s need at the moment rather than a cup run and his first test in the top flight as manager of the club was away to Newcastle at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.
Since late September, Everton had won just one league game and a string of disappointing results have resulted in the Merseyside club sliding down the table and just four points ahead of the hosts. This was a six-pointer that neither side wanting to lose but after their FA Cup demolishing of Brentford, there were high hopes for Lampard’s side against a struggling Newcastle team.
However, it was Newcastle United who wanted the win more and an energetic and determined performance saw the Magpies come away as 3-1 winners. That loss has resulted in the bookies slashing the odds on Everton to get relegated and with them now being just two points above the drop zone and without a win since the beginning of December, it’s not hard to see why.
It really was a game Everton could not afford to lose as they have some tough league fixtures lined up for the remainder of the season.
- 12/02: Leeds (H)
- 19/02: Southampton (A)
- 26/02: Manchester City (H)
- 07/03: Tottenham (A)
- 12/03: Wolves (H)
- 19/03: Watford (A)
- 02/04: West Ham (A)
- 09/04: Manchester United (H)
- 16/04: Crystal Palace (H)
- 23/04: Liverpool (A)
- 30/04: Chelsea (H)
- 07/05: Leicester City (A)
- 15/05: Brentford (H)
- 22/05: Arsenal (A)
Everton’s next match at home to Leeds on Saturday is another six-pointer with Leeds occupying the place above Lampard’s side in the league.
Leeds will head into the game on the back of a 3-3 away to Aston Villa on Wednesday night and have started to find their form in front of goal again recently. Along with putting three past Villa, they did the same away to West Ham and at home to Burnley in recent outings and will more than likely trouble Everton’s Pickford in goal.
Playing Southampton away the week following will not be an easy match to take away three points from given the Saints have lost just one of their eleven league matches played at St Mary’s this season. That match is followed up by fixtures against Manchester City, Spurs and Wolves, all of which are in the top half of the table.
Whether Lampard was the ideal appointment is yet to be determined but the ex-Chelsea midfielder will need his team to bounce back from their defeat to Newcastle sharpish as just one more defeat could see them drop into the relegation zone.
Another worry for Everton is that both Newcastle and Norwich have started to hit a bit of form. Newcastle are now unbeaten in their last three and have recorded back to back wins for the first time this season. Norwich have also picked up two wins and a draw from their last three in the league and although they have played two more games than the Toffees, their confidence should be at an all-time high.