Frank Lampard: Everton boss ‘absolutely’ does not fear being sacked
Everton manager Frank Lampard says he “absolutely” does not fear being sacked after his side were beaten by West Ham in the Premier League.
The Toffees are without a win in the top flight since October and are stuck in a relegation battle in 19th place.
Everton’s poor form, consisting of six defeats and two draws, is Lampard’s longest winless run as a manager in league competition.
“I don’t get that far down the line to fear,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
When asked by Sky Sports if it was time Lampard was sacked, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri – who was at London Stadium to watch his team in action for the first time in 14 months – replied: “I can’t comment. It’s not my decision.”
Jarrod Bowen scored two goals in the first half to hand former Toffees boss David Moyes a much-needed win and heap more misery on under-fire Lampard.
The Blues manager added: “I absolutely don’t fear [being sacked], I’m proud to do the job.
“I just do my job. I get up every day and think how we can get a bit better – it’s as simple as that.”
Lampard conceded after the defeat the club are in “tough times” and said he knew the task at Goodison Park would be considerable when he took over a year ago because the team were already struggling.
“We had a big fight and stayed in the league [last season],” he told Match of the Day.
“We lost Richarlison and now have tried to build around that, so it is normal we are fighting again when other clubs are trying to move on.
“History moves on and nothing gives you the right to be in their league. If you don’t move you will hit tough times. We are in tough times and everyone has to try to move forward.
“It is impossible for me to jump into the future. Last season we were five points shy of safety with five or six games to go, but as a club we have to move together.
“I cannot complain about the spirit of the players and how they approached the game. They may have passed it slow but we didn’t find it in the final third.”
Match of the Day pundit Jermaine Jenas, the former Tottenham and England midfielder, said: “I feel a bit sorry for him [Lampard]. He’s probably conflicted as to whether he sits tight and tries to keep clean sheets, because he’s got no goalscorer in the team – so what chance has he got?”
Asked about Moshiri’s comments on Lampard’s future, Jenas added: “If he [Moshiri] isn’t making the decisions, then who is? He’s definitely passing the buck.
“He obviously felt that his presence at the game was going to have some form of impact. I think it sums up the disconnect of the club and what is actually happening there and why there is so much upheaval and frustration within the fanbase.”
|Worst-performing Everton managers in the Premier League|
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BBC’s chief football writer Phil McNulty
Everton manager Frank Lampard is in such a perilous position that it will be a greater shock if he survives than if he is sacked.
Lampard has overseen a run of only one point from Everton’s past seven Premier League games, at Manchester City, and they are now deep in relegation trouble in 19th place with only three wins and 15 points from 20 games.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, who last attended a game at Goodison Park in October 2021, was present to watch the 2-0 loss at fellow strugglers West Ham that will surely end Lampard’s reign after less than a year in charge.
It certainly looked and sounded ominous when Moshiri refused to back Lampard as he was ‘doorstepped’ at London Stadium, although suggesting it was not his decision was at odds with the usual impression given – that the billionaire’s volatility and impatience is behind so many bad moves, including five managerial sackings, that have put Everton in this parlous plight.
Lampard’s class as a personality – and his willingness to engage with an increasingly angry fanbase – means his leaving would not be celebrated by fans. But results have simply been not good enough after last season’s late escape from relegation.
Everton’s board were at least in attendance at West Ham, having stayed away from the last home game against Southampton at Goodison Park on security advice – which meant they saw in person just how discontented supporters are, with more protests and banners demanding their removal.
This may happen eventually – but the person who currently looks in most danger of removal is Lampard.
‘We are behind you’ – encouraging words from fans for Lampard
The large away support brought banners voicing their anger at the Everton board and the decline of the club in recent seasons.
The protests were witnessed in person this time by Moshiri, along with chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, football director Kevin Thelwell and director Graeme Sharp after the board members were advised to miss last week’s home defeat by Southampton because of safety concerns.
Unfortunately for Lampard, so was the disappointing result.
He was given a small morale boost before the game, however, when a group of fans offered him encouraging words and reiterated that their disapproval is mainly directed at the club’s hierarchy.
“It’s not about you – that’s why all the boys are here to support the team,” one supporter tells Lampard as he shakes his hand in the video that was shared on social media.
“We are all behind you. I know you’re under a bit of pressure but we are 100% behind you and we’re all here today.”
Everton host league leaders Arsenal next Saturday, before a Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield on 13 February.
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