Should Everton Fans be Worried About Frank Lampard’s First Preseason at the Club?

by   |   02/08/2022  0 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton’s pre-season performances have failed to relieve the anxiety of fans from the back end of last season. The Toffees were in a relegation scrap until the bitter end, and early signs suggest they could be heading the same way in the 2022-23 campaign.

Frank Lampard has the backing of the Everton board for now, but if he doesn’t get off to a good start, he could be the first manager to face the axe. Luckily, it appears that the former Chelsea midfielder has some ideas about how to turn his side’s fortunes around in the season ahead.

New Wingback System Could Work

Lampard’s preferred formation is 4-3-3, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll be able to deploy that at Everton with the lack of quality in the options at his disposal. In pre-season games against Minnesota United and Blackpool, the 44-year-old decided to use a 3-4-3 system instead, with January signings Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson operating as wingbacks.

In the game against the USA side, Lampard’s charges failed to click and succumbed to what The Sporting News described as a 'shock' 4-0 defeat. However, against Blackpool, the strategy worked, and the two wide players were the best on the pitch. Patterson, in particular, showed that he will be more than capable of stepping into the huge shoes of Seamus Coleman as the club legend’s career winds down.

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What Would it Mean if Everton Were Relegated?

There’s no denying that relegation from the Premier League would be disastrous on both an economic and a reputational level. Everton was one of the founding clubs of the English Football League, and if they dropped down they would be considered the biggest giant of the game to ever be relegated.

With the money that the English top flight attracts from various sponsorship deals and partnerships, there’s a vast amount of pressure on Lampard to succeed this term and then build for the future. The sheer scope of the league is evident from the brand's reach across a number of other industries and sectors. For example, iconic clubs and players from the English Premier League are often used in merchandising such as online and console gaming. As a result, audiences from around the world are able to consume top-tier football in the form of titles like FIFA and PES.

However, there are even original, more unconventional concepts like Football Studio at Casino777, which is a unique baccarat-inspired offering with elements from the beautiful game. It’s one of many football-inspired live casino options and has proven to be popular with both die-hard football fans and online gamblers alike. With the iGaming industry only gaining traction at the moment, it's definitely viable that an English Premier League-inspired range could take the mantle on such platforms. If so, Everton will want to be at the top of the game and in a position to capitalise on potential new revenue streams like this, or else they'll be left behind.

Chance for Dele to Shine

The worrying thing for Everton fans is that any formational tactics that Lampard wants to deploy require a sharpshooter in the box to put away chances. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s lengthy absence during the last term was the main reason for Everton’s struggles, and Lampard simply can’t rely on the Englishman to stay fit for a full campaign.

It’s clear that backup in that position is required, but there is a chance that Dele Alli can slot in as an auxiliary forward if required. Bleacher Report discussed how the former Tottenham Hotspur man did this in the past under Mauricio Pochettino when the main man, Harry Kane, was injured. The 26-year-old is currently a shadow of his former self, though, so it will take some incredible coaching from Lampard to bring back the player of yesteryear.

After losing Richarlison to Spurs, Lampard desperately needs to strengthen his attack ahead of the new campaign. If he can’t, he may have to rely on new tactics, as well as reinvigorating some of the players in his current squad.

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