Lampard at the heart of patient evolution at Everton

20/07/2022 94comments  |  Jump to last

Frank Lampard has been shedding some light on the nascent reconstruction job underway at Everton under his stewardship alongside Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell as the club manoeuvres its way through a period of yet more change and enforced austerity.

Speaking to The Athletic in recent days from the Blues' training camps in the United States the manager has been describing the focus being applied on the practice pitch with the players in terms of building a fitter, stronger team but also the approach he had to take when he initially took charge at the end of January on a broken and demoralised squad.

It was a delicate process that ultimately saw the Blues through to safety from relegation but now the challenge is to craft a side that can not only stay up next season but make strides towards challenging in the right half of the Premier League table.

“I sensed that something wasn't quite right,” Lampard said reflecting on when he first arrived at Finch Farm almost six months ago. “We went out of our way — and it was a big thing for me — to make sure we didn't miss a trick with any player or person here.

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“In simple terms, it was: give players confidence, enjoy training, be competitive and understand what the club means to the fans. Try to create a link.”

Since then it's been about looking holistically at how to move the club forward on the pitch, a job the manager admits is something “you can't rush” and you “have to get right”. In the absence of a significant transfer budget which, in the past, has been viewed at Everton as a quick route to having a competitive squad, the past few months have been about incremental change — in approach, tactics, player psychology — steered in tandem by Lampard, his coaching staff and Thelwell.

“We've made some adjustments in the analysis, sports science and medical departments,” Lampard says. “We have to recruit from outside to make sure it's not just the same type of people all the time. We have to bring in some expertise. That's Kevin's remit because my job is to get on with what happens on the pitch.

“It always starts with having a team with a great work ethic and energy. The first thing I say when I speak to players at a new club is that we have to be a team that outruns and outfights the opposition. You can't be a successful team without it.

“I'm more about principles than whether it's a back three or back four. It's more about the balance of how we want to play. I want speed in the game, to move things quickly. Hardworking and pressing, whether it's high or in a block.”

If it has felt as though the end of the Moyes era also brought about a dimmer focus on signing players with the right mentality, the approach adopted by Thelwell and Lampard will be like music to Evertonian ears.

“Kevin and I are big on personality,” the Everton manager says. “We want to bring in players of a good profile and you look at age there too because you can't be too young or too old.

“You want good people. Selfish characters can be the downfall of any team. James Tarkowski is a well-spoken leader and straight away gives off a professional tone. Character in the dressing room is huge and the main attribute for me.

“I have a big input with transfers and that's important for me. I'm very understanding of recruitment teams, an owner who supplies the money, the Chairman's position and Kevin's position. I try to be aligned with everyone.”

Lampard's comments come in the wake of coach Chris Jones's interview with the Liverpool Echo where he expressed how glad he and the staff were for the opportunity to now have a full pre-season to work with the players outside of the pressure-cooker of a relegation scrap.

He explained how playing the game rather than a heavy emphasis on solely running has been central to the coaches' methods this summer but the existence of track facilities at their base in Washington allowed them to work on components that will help them build towards the kind of intensity and stamina that will needed for the way in which Lampard wants to play this coming season.

“It's nice to have the players from the start of pre-season so we can start to mould them the way we would like to,” Jones said. “A good pre-season can see a player through most of the year. If you don't start well, it's disjointed, then it becomes a lot harder and the season can go by.

“If you pick up a decent injury early-on it can drag through the season. Players then don't always get up to full fitness so it's good to have them from the start.

“We use football as the main tool to get fit. We manipulate the size of the areas on different days, that's a really good way, we find, to work with different components of fitness. So mainly football-based exercises and, with that, isolated running drills.

“Managers would like to have players running early on and then building up as they go but we find, in my experience, players become more robust when you start with football and they are used to all the movements they are going to be doing.

“It's creating a training method which leads to how we want to play on the pitch, which is with high speed, pressing up the pitch and being able to defend with intensity as well… A lot of the work that we do is so the players are confident when a game comes they can deliver that in the game.

“For example, if we are attacking at speed and there is a transition and we lose the ball, we want to be confident the player can defend in transition and run at high speed to get back into position, so we do the work that prepares them for that.”


Reader Comments (94)

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Mark Taylor
1 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Or to summarise, we are indeed skint, like back in the old days under Moyes, and so will have to try and make a silk purse out of the sow's ear we currently possess. If Frank pulls that off, he will be a club legend...
Dean Williams
2 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Mark #1 simply put, he won't pull it off. I think he will be gone by October.
Mark Taylor
3 Posted 20/07/2022 at

Wow. My bucket is usually half empty but even I'm not that pessimistic, partly because at least expectations are currently lower than a snake's belly, so it's a low bar, and partly because if this doesn't work at least a little bit, not being adrift in the relegation zone, I'm not sure who would come instead. We are approaching Watford levels of manager merry go round and even less money to spend.

I guess Claudio might give it another shot...

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 20/07/2022 at
There is a lot more competition on the days of skint and Moyes. Any squad that has quality of Gomes and Davies, season after season won't worry the Top 16 in this league.

I hope Frank stays, but it may only be a matter of time before he realises being manager at Everton is a thankless task.

1995 is a long time ago, and our Champions League exposure, if it does change, is years away. I always felt we needed Kings Dock (several years ago) to stand a chance.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I read this as Lampard saying he's not a massive tactical manager, and it's more about hard work, character and players having the principles, to get as fit as possible which helps make playing this way a lot easier?

He says character is very important, and because I think this is also massive to Evertonians, then if he “can” get the players to really “graft”, then this helps cover a multitude of other sins, and will definitely get everyone on side right away.

It's only words, and although I can feel the conviction in their simplicity, I also think that Lampard definitely needs a few more energetic players in his squad, if he's to get us moving in the right direction again.🤞 Good Luck, Frank!

Michael Burke
6 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Interesting insight into the mentality of Frank the manager. It mirrors Frank the player. Work harder than everyone else in every aspect of the game to make the most of what you have.

I'd be interested to know whose attitude he doesn't like in the squad. He has made a big point about this. Iwobi obviously puts himself about given his increased minutes under Frank last season. Shows there is hope for some others given his turnaround last season.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I have to give Frank the benefit of the doubt as I have nothing else to cling to. This all sounds like a lot of newspeak gobbledygook to cover up the complete lack of talent, particularly in midfield where we are seriously lacking in speed, strength and skill.

God help us but I think this could be another long season.

Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 20/07/2022 at
If he gets the team to perform as well as he speaks, we'll be Champions by Xmas.
Bill Hawker
9 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I am cautiously optimistic. If Frank can do with other players that he did with Iwobi, that will be a big step forward. The change in Iwobi last season was nothing short of miraculous. Iwobi had it in him, but he needed a manager who trusted him, played him, and played him in his preferred position.

It paid off for club and for player. Imagine if he could do that for some other players in our squad that are short of confidence right now after last season's debacle.

I'm willing to give Frank the benefit of any doubt and I hope other Evertonians will as well. Yeah, I'm not happy with Tarkowski being our only incoming player but we still have a bit of time to go before the window shuts.

Larry O'Hara
10 Posted 20/07/2022 at
The negativity from some on here is tedious. Give the man a chance!
Brent Stephens
11 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Great stuff, Frank!
Clive Rogers
12 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Iwobi did show improvement towards the end of the season under Frank, but it was from dreadful to poor in my opinion.
Sean Roe
13 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Talk is cheap and that is all it is at this stage.

All I know is that while most other clubs have done their transfer business early, we are turning up in the carpark at the supermarket 10 minutes before closing and trying to elbow the likes of Fulham and Forest out of the way to get the last of the reduced items.

Dave Williams
14 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Clive- you obviously didn’t see many games then!
Clive Rogers
15 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Dave, saw them all. I don’t rate him at all.
Tony Everan
16 Posted 20/07/2022 at
“It always starts with having a team with a great work ethic and energy. The first thing I say when I speak to players at a new club is that we have to be a team that outruns and outfights the opposition. You can't be a successful team without it.“

This is exactly what I want to hear, we haven’t got Man City players but if we can put together a fighting unit, fit and drilled we become competitive.

If opponents with better on paper players have an off day, bad luck, or key injuries we can take advantage and points. We will become more consistent beating similar and lesser teams.

Frank has us on the right path, but it’s going to be a rocky one especially when transfer funds are tight. They need a couple of key signings to stand a fighting chance.

Alan Brown
17 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Well said Larry @ 10. The miserabalism on this site is draining.

Give the man a chance to make a team. That will take at least a season and a half. So many of the players who are written off, by some on this site, stood up at the end of last season - Alex Iwobi for one.

Channel the support of the last half a dozen games from last season into the start of the next and who knows. At least it will be more fun than constantly moaning about what might have been.

Kim Vivian
18 Posted 20/07/2022 at
All I can say is it's a good job the squad isn't made up of ToffeeWebbers or with the mentality of some ToffeeWebbers because we would be two goals down before kick-off every game..

At the start of every season, I try feed my optimism – it's a new season and a new opportunity, a clean sheet at the start. Every team is equal first and equal last at 3:00 pm on 6 August (notwithstanding media intervention).

We clearly have a challenge and a half ahead of us this term, but do not write us off just yet – leave that to the Sky darling media.

I will be achingly passionate at the start of every game and have my hopes that the new coaching and management team we have in place, and who we really have not been able to assess, will surprise us pleasantly over the next 40-odd weeks.

Frank Lampard makes the right noises to me, he is a young, highly respected (by the squad players) professional who they will have seen playing and a man whose graft and commitment they should try to emulate – or just fuck off.

Come On You Blues – give us all a lift, I know you can.

Will Mabon
19 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Well, we definitely have plenty of patients, so I hope he can evolve them.
Ian Bennett
20 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Cautiously optimistic, we all start on the same points. What a load of crap.

You go under cooked in this league, then you're in trouble. And once the window has shut, you're pretty much set for the season.

7 or 8 defeats in a row, and Lampard will be done - with an owner that has fired a shed load of managers before him and was calling out Anchelotti to Brands.

So yeah I am worried. Worried about the lack of goals in the squad, the lack of pace, physicality, and creativity in a squad lacking in depth. Worried that teams like Forest will turn us over at home like Watford and the rest of the dross from last season.

We have moved on Digne, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, James, Gana from a side that wasn't ripping up any trees, and then seen Mina & Gomes injury record let them down.

This squad is on it's arse. Don't try and kid yourself it isn't.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I'm basically looking at it this way.

Carlo Ancelotti was the most decorated manager we've ever had at this club yet he couldn't get the team a top-half finish with a better squad to choose from.

Frank Lampard can only work so much with the dross he has at his disposal.

We haven't given Lampard a penny yet to spend and he's been here since January.

I honestly don't know if he will walk away if the financial situation remains the same, he seems like a honourable man and one that likes a challenge and he genuinely does seem happy here.

If we sack him after an inevitable run of shocking results, given the lack of quality across our whole squad, then that just shows me again that our board will never learn.

Sacking Lampard for a Ferguson or Rooney or Nuno Espirito will not improve us from the fighting spirit we've seen under Frank.

Luke Welch
22 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Seems to me Frank has a plan and style he wants to implement. However, he also has the same squad minus Richarlison to make it happen.

And there lies the problem! It is not like the players will suddenly click and find another level, we know their level and it's not far from a relegation battle at best.

Pat Kelly
23 Posted 20/07/2022 at
“I sensed that something wasn't quite right,”

I wonder how he knew?

Will Mabon
24 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I know where you're coming from, Ian, and I mostly agree.

What seems an improvement though, as far as can be gleaned from here on the outside, is the spirit and cohesion of the squad.

The admittedly brief and limited film of the training sessions just look brighter and more promising. It's not everything, we need players, but for now, I think that side of things is growing – it's been missing for a long time, even when we had better/more players.

It's gonna be a tough gig, this season but I feel (hope) the foundations have been improved. I don't expect what we saw last season, don't think we're for the drop and we can only improve, however slowly.

There wasn't much joy from the game in Baltimore but I don't think that's disastrous. Let's see what tonight brings.

Hit me up if we lose 0-6.

Danny Baily
25 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Luke 22, I don't think Frank has a particular style of play in mind or that he's associated with. That's probably a bonus though, as he'll have to work with what he's got.
Will Mabon
27 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Pat :-)

Would be interesting to know what he thought was wrong.

Raymond Fox
28 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Lampard comes across as a decent guy who will give his all.

We need to recruit a striker, that's obvious; this season will be all about survival, forget about glory.

Talk about him being sacked after a few poor results is daft, it's bound to happen with this squad.

Steavey Buckley
29 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Under Ancelotti's tenure as manager during the Covid season of 2020-21, he basically had a squad of players who were limited when there were no home crowds due to Covid so playing at home was no different to playing away without the influence of home supporters of any team.

So, Everton during the covid season managed more away wins than home wins, so, were able to beat Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs away. Last season, Everton lost to the same teams.

Christy Ring
30 Posted 20/07/2022 at
How can you criticise Frank and his principles? He took over a team in free-fall, completely lacking confidence, and players who had forgotten how to win. He totally changed the mindset, and kept us up, that came from Townsend, one of Benitez's favourites.

The club has been run into the ground, and he's changing the whole culture of the club, bringing in his backroom team, and not Bill's buddies.

Try and support him, and give him a chance, his first pre-season where he can start from scratch, hopefully he'll have some transfer funds available.

Kevin Molloy
31 Posted 20/07/2022 at
The worst thing about the last few years is watching the club spend gigantic amounts of money on garbage. I am very confident that that at least won't be happening this season.

I am prepared to give Frank a big dollop of goodwill for keeping us up. So whilst I have concerns about what is happening, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Nobody knows anything really until the season kicks off.

My worries are him splashing out £40M on Dele Alli. Or in the alternative, not playing him and literally flushing up to £20M down the plughole in his wages when we can't play him. That's a hell of a lot of money to waste when you're where we are. Cos ask yourself this: If we were to sell him now, how much do you think we'd get?

I'm a bit concerned with the sort of players we are linked with. It all seems a bit obvious. With good recruiters like Moyes, I'd never heard of half of them, but they nearly all provided good value.

The initial game at Arsenal where we didn't seem to be able to pass. He's been here six months now, so we should at least have a passing style.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Tony # 5, I read it like you. Work ethic, energy and personality is what matters to him. It matters to me too as a fan.

Dean # 2, after about half a dozen games I felt like Lampard would scrape us up but get sacked within a year of appointment.

I am pleased to say he has changed my view of him. He matured as a coach in horrible adversity last season (some admittedly of his own doing).

The biggest change he has made is to improve the mood in the camp. I don't think anyone would argue that.

He's not a tactician (in fact he is possibly poor in that respect or at least still learning) but then neither was Alex Ferguson. Ferguson's genius was to hire coaches to do that for him while he set the tone.

Lampard needs better players, that's obvious, but I do believe he can build a team that is more than the sum of its parts – because he knows how to create a good mood in the camp.

What I don't want is some big short-term gamble to rise up the league placings. We need to accept where the squad is and aim to peak in 2 or 3 years after careful strategic recruitment and player development. Again, Lampard seems to be talking in these terms.

Go big for the cups though. I want a trophy.

Bill Gall
33 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Last season, most of the complaints was that the other teams seemed fitter than us and what did they do at Finch Farm?

Every one remarked on the fitness of Leeds and how they seemed to be quick even at the 90-minute mark. The problem with Leeds was everyone was expected to be an attacker, and that was exploited later on and got their manager fired.

We don't have the quality players to get us into Europe unless we manage a cup win, so the manager has to get the best out of what we have, and surely an increase in the level of fitness is a good start.

One of the lessons may have finally started is with Lampard and Thelwell being on the same page of youth development up to the Premier League team. This was supposed to happen with Brands and Benitez but never got off the ground through board and owner interference and individual preferences.

Fitness increases speed and stamina and, if the Under-21s and younger are on the same page as the first team, it makes replacing an injured player easier, and not trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.

Although it may be hard to believe, players are human beings and will perform better when they are content, and that seems one of the major responsibilities of the manager in creating, in training and socializing, an atmosphere of togetherness, in that everyone is expected to perform as a team and back each other up.

Will it work? We may not know but it is a change to see that there seems more contentment in training sessions than previous, as hard as they appear.

Just the ramblings of an old man...

Ian Bennett
34 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Hope you're right, Will. There is a bond built on the trauma of last season, which I hope is a foundation to move forward.

I don't think that would have been the same if Frank had got more points earlier on, and avoided the dog fight.

Bernie Quinn
35 Posted 20/07/2022 at
We may not have too many 'top' names in our squad, but Frank is doing his best to create a decent team. Remember – a good team of players is better to have than a team of good players. I trust Frank and his methods.
Tony Hill
36 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Here's a worry: I like Frank but if I were looking to lead a team out of the depths, I would make sure I was in top shape at the start of pre-season. Instead, I think he's put on weight.

That really isn't great.

Barry Rathbone
37 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I suspect Frank has enough about him to do a "Moyes" and use "good egg" journeymen and basic footy to avoid relegation ... but will supporters put up with that old pony again?

Moyes got about 5 years before "Is this it??" began to air – I think that's 5 months in the modern game. One thing from recent BMD debates is plenty still see a distinction between us and lower echelon clubs so Frank needs to realise Moyes Mk 2 isn't going to be a vote-winner.

Neil Cremin
38 Posted 20/07/2022 at
ToffeeWeb posters back on the road to depression.

Clive: Who do you rate?

Sean: Whether you accept it or not, that's the level we are competing. What established player would risk going to Everton? Lingard being the prime example.

Mark: You are correct, we are back to the level when Moyes took over and the solution is still the same. Try and build a difficult-to-beat team with limited resources by identifying young hungry players.

This is at least a 3-year project with a lot of bumps in the road ahead. I do believe Frank can do it but for those who think we can entice some of the players like Livenchenko to Everton at the moment, I say dream on.

Brian Murray
39 Posted 20/07/2022 at

Moyes Mk 1 I couldn't stand – same with the blessed Walter Smith. All helped to create a different Everton for a generation of Blues. All hand-picked by the never-ending story.

Neil Cremin
40 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Barry #37,

I think that's exactly what we need. A team difficult to beat and secure our position in top flight gradually improving until we become an attraction once again. The only way is a slow climb upwards with the squad we currently have.

Notice how many clubs are coming in for our players, almost as many as the queue looking to join us.

Michael Williams
41 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I like the energy and hard work that Frank mentioned. I agree with others who said we are limited in talent so it will have to be this way.

Lampard does not strike me as being in the upper echelon of tactical thinkers.

Barry Rathbone
42 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Brian Murray 39

I'm in full agreement and never thought I'd hear Evertonians longing for mid table non-entity status simply because it's safe but it's out there.

Neil Cremin 40

I just don't think present day footy allows for long term planning perhaps if Frank's boys beat the shite as per Carlo he might get some leeway.

Will Mabon
43 Posted 20/07/2022 at
"I don't think that would have been the same if Frank had got more points earlier on, and avoided the dog fight."

An unusual silver lining, Ian...

Brian Murray
44 Posted 20/07/2022 at
It's true a poster above says a 5-year plan or leeway is now 5 months so it's asking a lot of Ffrank in his first proper job (I don't judge or count the other two) to hit the ground running, although his backroom seem to be really switched on to help.

The likes of Pep get at least 10 per cent more from a player so if he has any of that trait (Iwobi!) he's got a chance.

Good luck, Franky, we are all rooting for yer.

Tommy Carter
45 Posted 20/07/2022 at
The difficulty this season coming may lie in the fact that other teams will probably have the resources to strengthen from last season – Palace and Brentford have already done so.

And the teams coming up are potentially much better than the teams that have gone down. Certainly in the case of Norwich and Watford who were extremely poor.

David Moyes has plenty of people kidded into thinking he's some kind of managerial messiah. He does this by sticking to a simple formula which is something Frank can do well to replicate:

Win most of the games you should or would be expected to win at home. There's 10 wins and 30 points straight away.

Pick up the odd win at home versus one of the top teams. Try and draw a couple of the others. This gives around 7 points and a spirited win against a top team builds a good feeling amongst the club.

Win roughly a quarter of your away games - probably against the bottom half teams in the league. There's 4/5 wins and 12/15 points.

And there you go. No need to win a trophy, or achieve anything. No need to even attempt to win a game away from home against any of the top teams. Take care of your own business.

Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Larry, Alan and Kim, amen. It's the middle of July and already the sourballs are whinging (is that the right word?) and predicting Frank's failures.

Luke #22, it's not quite the same squad. we don't yet know who will replace Richarlison and Townsend, but we do know Frank will likely have a top striker, two centre-backs, a young fullback and, apparently, a defensive midfielder available that he did not have last season. People tend to forget about the long-term injuries, but they were devastating and continually sabotaged Frank's plans.

Bill #33, I enjoy your old-man ramblings very much.

Dermot O'Brien
47 Posted 20/07/2022 at
After reading a few comments I thought this was the Live Forum, the eternally moan-filled Live Forum.

For fuck's sake... Give the man a chance.

Christine Foster
48 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Step back and take a reality check. What for you would be an acceptable season? Escape relegation? Win the cup? Qualify for Europe?

Given the absolute horror of last season, where can this limited squad go in terms of the season ahead? We have lost Digne, Richarlison and James, and a mixed bunch have dropped out of contract which leaves more holes in a threadbare squad that lacks a quality of depth in many departments.

We may now have a manager who fits, but the resources are painfully limited. Whilst blooding youngsters is admirable, we know you can only bring through one or two at a time in the PPremier League as teams exploit the opposition's weaknesses. Older or younger players struggle.

Personally I would be delighted if we are challenging for a European place, had a stronger squad and hit 40 points by Christmas... but progress and realism depend on strengthening the squad without doing so means a mid-table position is a more likely hope.

I must, in my heart, be a positive person, as I have never heard of the word "miserablism" until today, definition being "the philosophy of pessimism" and whilst we have been constantly let down by a combination of managers, players, ownership and club management, throughout it all we have a magnificent club with the best supporters in the land. Pragmatism may be an absence of hope, but I feel there is undercurrent of change at every level and that for me is key.

"We have to recruit from outside to make sure it's not just the same type of people all the time. We have to bring in some expertise."
That for me is change; why Unsworth and Ferguson are no longer at the club. Now if he can just convince Moshiri to do the same...

John Burns
49 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I must admit that I liked the interview. It was refreshingly honest and provided a clarity to what will be expected this season. I can't recall another Everton manager opening up and explaining so clearly their tactical strategy.

I'm also not sure our players are as bad as we collectively think. If they can buy into the strategy outlined, we may be pleasantly surprised.

Sam Hoare
50 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Christine @48, challenging for Europe would represent a fantastic turnaround. I'd be happy enough if we finished 10-12th.

My worry is that Frank talks a great game and can create a positive mood in the players and fans but can he organise a good system and make the right subs and adjustments in game?

I'm not yet convinced on the latter points so far but we will see. Better possession and more effectiveness at set-pieces at both ends would be a good start. Words are easy but, as we know, this is a results game.

Paul Hewitt
51 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Christine @48. Staying up would be a successful season. That's how low things have gone.
Brendan McLaughlin
52 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Don't know why people read so much into what managers say in public. It's all PR and, in the main, very few drop the ball. Frank didn't either... so I suppose that's a positive.
Denis Richardson
53 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Frank saying the right things but tbh not unexpected. Fact is we narrowly avoided the drop and since then have sold our best attacker/player and signed a centre-back.

We desperately need a very decent central midfielder and an attacker. Many of the players who got us into the mess are still in the first team.

On paper we currently have a worse team than the one we finished the season with. These players have played under far better managers than Lampard and not performed so unless he performs a minor miracle or we actually sign more players who are better than the ones we have, I don't see how next season is going to be massively different.

New season optimism is expected but, when you look at the squad properly, do you get that warm fuzzy feeling? I certainly don't. Kick-off is barely 17 days away.

If the likes of Gomes and Davies are going to be regulars in the middle of the park, we can look forward to another nail-biting season. Sorry to be pessimistic but if the playing staff isn't improved then no amount of encouragement from Lampard and Co is going to make that much of a difference.

Tarkowski will bring more solidity at the back but I worry (not for the first time) where the goals will come from. Hopefully Mina can at least last until September before getting another injury…

Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I'm being cautiously optimistic but the squad is currently much weaker than it finished last season, but in many ways it's good in that some dead wood has gone. But there's not the strength in depth and if Calvert-Lewin gets injured then, based on last season goal returns from midfield and across the rest of the squad there won't be many, but Frank may get some extras from this squad.

For me, the Captains role is massive and surely the reality of the close shave last season, can't be allowed to happen again. Will it be Seamus or else some one new? But Leadership by example physically, verbally and attitude wise is needed and must be mirrored across the squad.

I honestly don't know whom will arrive and where from, but it needs to happen soon, to allow a good start to the season.

Derek Thomas
55 Posted 20/07/2022 at
“Kevin and I are big on personality,” the Everton manager says. “We want to bring in players of a good profile and you look at age there too because you can't be too young or too old.

In other words, trying get them playing like a decent football team

“I have a big input with transfers and that's important for me. I'm very understanding of recruitment teams, an owner who supplies the money, the Chairman's position and Kevin's position. I try to be aligned with everyone.”

You'll have to bare with me for a while, I'm treading a bit of mine field here what with all the personalities and FFP

Yet again we have a wait and see job – but we've tried throwing money at the Quick Fix option, so fairplay to him.

Rein ne change Frank, rein ça change.

Onwards and Upwards, One Game At a Time.

Christine @ 48; narrowly missing out... 8th or 9th-ish... on Europe would do me, because we don't need the distraction just yet, would be an excellent result.

Richard Grey
56 Posted 20/07/2022 at
A lot of negativity in these comments… I don't think anyone is kidding themselves that it is going to be another tough season, but we looked certain to go down when Lampard joined and he helped turn things around in extremely difficult circumstances. I'm not sure any old manager (even one as decorated as Ancelotti) could've done what Lampard did.

Since he's joined, he's ended up getting the basics spot on:

1. Reconnected the club with the fans and realised their importance.
2. Boosted squad and club morale.
3. Got the team working harder.
4. Identified the issues in our squad.
5. Got the right unified team around him.

Yes, he doesn't have a lot to spend this summer and that isn't his fault. Richarlison had to go, it was inevitable, even if we had finished mid-table (again).

Lack of signings is frustrating and a bit concerning, but we still have the potential makings of a decent team with the likes of Pickford, Mykolenko, Keane, Godfrey, Holgate, Mina, Tarkowski, Patterson, Coleman, Iwobi, Allan, (Gbamin?), Doucoure, Gray, Gordon, Townsend, Dele Alli, Calvert-Lewin…

Obviously this isn't enough, but if we can supplement with the right players in the right areas and Frank can blood some youngsters (he was excellent at this at Derby and Chelsea), I feel he has the principals and philosophy to improve this season and start to build something.

We've got a fantastic new stadium on the horizon, a passionate fan-base and a happier, hungrier squad. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I feel far more positive about starting a season with Lampard as coach than I was about Benitez.

Condemning Lampard to be sacked by the autumn is fatalistic and goes right against what he and Thelwell are trying to bring to Everton. I think we are lucky to have a manager who believes in this club and wants to build something.


Brendan McLaughlin
57 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Derek #55

That struck me initially but I forgot about it until you reposted this:

"We want to bring in players of a good profile and you look at age there too because you can't be too young or too old."

So, erm, Frank... why do you "look at age" if they can be neither too old nor too young.

Seriously? PR shite for the gullible!

Eddie Dunn
58 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Frank showed little tactical know-how last season and it seems that he is throwing all of his eggs into the basket marked "fitness".

In many sports fitness is key, Boxing, and Tennis spring to mind as does Rugby. A bit of talent doesn't go amiss either and with Richarlison gone, we look even more threadbare.

I hope Frank can get the team working as a unit. I am always hopeful but things ain't looking too good just now.

John Kavanagh
59 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I'm glad that financial pressures are forcing us to look within our resources to start with. The youngsters who played against Arsenal certainly didn't disgrace themselves and Mills in particular showed great energy and commitment – a real determination to prove himself.

Although that alone doesn't make a top-flight player (Kenny being a case in point), at least giving the kids a chance rather than continue the past practice of getting in over-priced, over-paid and often over-aged wasters is real progress in my opinion.

A couple more decent signings/loans should see us safe unless Moshiri and Blue Bill decide to cash in on Calvert-Lewin and Gordon.

If we can steer through the current financial crisis and finish mid-table without any relegation panics, then I'd be happy. If Kenwright goes, I'd be more than happy.

Jay Harris
60 Posted 20/07/2022 at
If we don't get a quality defensive midfielder in, we are doomed. Doomed, I say.
Brendan McLaughlin
61 Posted 20/07/2022 at
John #59,

"If we can steer through the current financial crisis and finish mid-table without any relegation panics, then I'd be happy. If Kenwright goes, I'd be more than happy."

Pretty much nail on t'head.

Shane Corcoran
62 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Part of me, say 20%, is excited by how we might play and exceed expectations.

About 30% thinks that Frank doesn’t have a clue and he’ll be remembered for the bullshit he talked.

The other 50% of me just shrugs and says, who cares anymore.

Mike Gaynes
63 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Jay #60, are you absolutely certain we don't have one?

I'm no longer sure. We just might.

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 20/07/2022 at
I'd rather have these words than constantly have a manager trying (note 'trying') to have my expectation beaten down by Moyes Mk 2 as some are referring to him on this thread. No, just no.

They are only words. But he's breeding optimism and belief into the players. Players who he openly says what we all knew. Demoralised and fragile, bereft of any type of confidence. He identified the chasm that had emerged and succeeded in reuniting team and supporters, which had an obvious impact.

I like his point on personal management. I've heard him say before about the importance of personal management, not just personnel management. That to me says individual coaching. Music to my footballing ears.

On what Christine has already picked up on: "Not the same type of people all the time". Changing the sports science and medical set-up, the Finch Farm staff. Change. He seems to buy into the DoF concept in stating the division of responsibility between him and Thelwell. Lampard just wants to coach and motivate the players he has or is given.

Speed in the game, move things quickly. And that doesn't necessarily mean being able to run fast in a straight line for the length of the pitch and back. Move the ball quickly. Let the ball do the work, as the age old saying goes. Pressing high up the pitch and playing with intensity. More music to the ears.

But he needs time and, as Robert says, needs better players. I bored myself with that quote under Ancelotti, who rightfully declared he wasn't a magician for that reason.

On age, again, he's speaking my language. It's a blend of youth, established players and wise heads who bring leadership.

Then he spoils it a bit indicating that he, Thelwell and the Chairman will be involved with transfers, if I read between the lines. Don't get sold down that river Frank. Many before you have been and they didn't get given a paddle as they watched them head towards the rapids and waterfall. I see his wife is "working closely with Everton CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale to find a way of better integrating the players' wives and families so they feel closer to what is happening at the club".

Oh dear. Bill advising the DoF and what sounds like an Officers' Wives Coffee Morning.

Let's finish on a positive and get back to the football. I like the training philosophy. Start with the football and movements the players are going to do in a match. Even more music to the ears.

And the final positive. Two weeks Saturday. It can't come quickly enough.

Fine words – and I know they are only words. But I'd rather have this than being told we should be grateful for our lot and the good times we've apparently endured in recent years.

Good luck, Frank. We're all behind you and the team.

Don't forget. League Cup and Europe, please.

Pete Clarke
65 Posted 21/07/2022 at
I couldn't wish to have a nicer person in charge of our team. Somebody who truly understands what it takes to be successful and hopefully still has ambition to do that with us regardless of the piss weak team and financial conditions we have.

My only big concern is that this team will drag him down to their level and, without good tactics to overcome this, no amount of fitness will save us.

As somebody has mentioned with Alex Ferguson, employ a tactician to help him get the best out of them. Also, given that we are stuck with Doucouré, can they not give the lad some extra practice at passing the ball so we can have a bit of movement in the middle of the park?

Brendan McLaughlin
66 Posted 21/07/2022 at
So Danny #64,

Frank is the future except of course until he says good things about Blue Bill... I think even your dogs would struggle with that logic? Unless they recognise PR spin for what it's worth?

Don Alexander
67 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Moshiri has deliberately created a club hierarchy evidently way devoid of any talent at all in the football industry. Just why is the $64,000 question – and such questions rarely receive a true answer, as we all know.

Lampard is therefore spouting the only allegedly coherent pap he can in view of the horrible mismanagement of our club, way above him and all of his predecessors, for the past 6 years and the 25 before that.

Is there a common denominator regarding our decades-long problems?

Answers on the back of a stamp please!

Brendan McLaughlin
68 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Peter #65,

I could... Ma Walton (from the Walton's)... imagine the end of training... g'night Dominic. g'night Tom... What sort of fecking PJs are you wearing... you could be arrested etc etc.

Dupont Koo
69 Posted 21/07/2022 at
While I am definitely not satisfied with Tarkowski being the only new signing so far, I am quietly optimistic: just imagine his ever-presence in the coming season taking away all those Godawful minutes played by Holgate and Keane.

Any resemblance of Premier League Competence by Mina and Godfrey will also help too: worst-case scenario is that Mina can only play in what would be equivalent to his jersey number and, IMHO, that would still be better than any of the minutes Holgate and Keane played!

Karl Masters
70 Posted 21/07/2022 at
I'm no Kenwright fan, but I can't see what him leaving would achieve or drastically change.

Please enlighten me, Don.

Andy McNabb
71 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Maybe it is simply me getting older and having been involved in leadership for 38 years now but I am increasingly interested in the human side of the game and the impact it has on the people involved.

If you haven't discovered 'Moment of Truth' on BBC Sounds, I'm finding it compulsive listening as they follow the managerial journey of the Rotherham and Oxford managers in the last 90 days of the 21-22 season. Whether we like what they do or not, these are human beings we are dealing with.

I do hope Frank is given time to at least attempt to improve the situation we find ourselves in. I say 'improve' because I believe a 'fix' may be some time away.

Brian Murray
72 Posted 21/07/2022 at
C'mon Andy, as ex-SAS, you should know about showing fight and tenacity. This team has none. I think this may be the season...
Pete Clarke
75 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Brendan. You're spot on there with the Waltons because Tom and Dom would fit right in there. 😁

When I say 'nice', what I mean is a well-respected figure who can lead his team into battle but also deal with the pricks who run the game and the pricks on TV commentating.

My biggest concern is that the Big Blue Luvvie from the Boys Pen will slowly drag him into his world of fantasy and low expectation. I'm hoping he's too smart for this.

Bernie Quinn
76 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Forover 120 years, 3 generations of Quinns have supported Everton, and for about 80 years, we have mainly enjoyed watching the Toffees play.

I have many happy memories including handcuffing Adrian Heath to Derek Mountfield, and being shown round Goodison Park like a VIP - holding the FA Cup and Charity Shield.

A couple of posters have said they like my memories but Michael told me to stop writing about Hickson and Fielding, saying it was just ancient history. So now I just feel sad for the under '40s who have no real happy memories since the late 1980s.

Whose fault is that? It has to be the people who run the Club; Owners, Chairmen and Directors. They are not interested in success.

I read that they are the 2nd highest group of Directors in the Premier League receiving remuneration. How can they justify that as they don't help to run the club in any way. Surely they must be ashamed and embarrassed at admitting they are Everton Directors?

They owe it to the fanbase to get Everton back to the Great Club we once were. If they are not prepared to at least try, then they should be sacked or else have the decency to resign.

I just hope that we can win some title or trophy before I leave this Mortal Coil.

Andy McNabb
77 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Brian, he nicked my name and was rude enough to delete a 'b' off the end.

You're right though – we could do with a bit of fight.

Danny O’Neill
78 Posted 21/07/2022 at
If I could get them near, they would hound him out, Brendan (see what I've done there?!!).

A disappointing blip in an otherwise decent interview. Don't get tainted, Frank, it will only end in tears for you.

A shame those words were not put into practice in last night's fixture.

Bernie Quinn
79 Posted 21/07/2022 at

You did say 42 was the correct answer, didn't you? I can't see it happening with this team.

I think I'm sinking fast - it's been good to know you...

Christine Foster
80 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Bernie, that 42 (points) really is becoming the meaning of life then! Of course, it means you're going to have to hang around to see it happen!!

After today's match, the self-convincing discussion Lampard may have been having is shown for what every one of us knows. The broom hasn't swept the rubbish out, just moved it around the room.

Like several managers before him, he is trying to hold on to a belief that this squad are capable of good things, and, like said predecessors, he is finding that collectively they are not capable of jelling as a team, nor capable of producing two decent individual performances in a row.

Like those before him, he has little to work with, even less than before. We need the nucleus of a team because we are not even filling gaps so far.

Danny O’Neill
81 Posted 21/07/2022 at
I'm not really sure I can blame Lampard. Or that we should change the manager. I've been banging on for years that we need better players, not another managerial change. That doesn't change anything when change is and has been needed.

In sheer panic, we've tried several managers in relatively quick succession. All of different styles and different approaches. All have failed for different reasons.

But just like in the board room, there is a constant.

A core of players not good enough, dressed up wiith a couple of good ones. Okay, we've managed to ship a few by letting contracts run down, But the theme is that the players are not collectively good enough.

I've been told off for my obsession with Michael Keane, so I'll go proxy and use my son's message to me this morning:

"I can't believe Michael Keane is with us for another season." – First thing he said to me.

Nearly 2 weeks to go. Here we go, so strap yourselves in. We're going on a blue rollercoaster ride and my stomach is going already.

Christine Foster
82 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Danny, the squad is effectively spineless. Holgate, Keane, Coleman, Gomes, Godfrey, Davies and even Calvert-Lewin. None of them are good enough, some never were, some no longer so. Others blow hot and cold with effort or skill.

This was always and still is the challenge facing Lampard and his predecessors. It is not his fault but he now clearly sees the task ahead.

Do not think for one moment that changing manager, yet again will change the make-up, skill or commitment of some of this squad. It won't.

He has to change as many as he can, there may be a few odd loans or old heads because of the financial constraints, but either way, our safety, and his job, depend on his ability to replace them.

Bernie Quinn
83 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Christine and Danny,

I am now receiving fairly bad news about my health and even worse news about the future of our club. I think Frank is trying to tell Kenwright and his gang that he can't do anything with the players he has, but he is being ignored, which also means the supporters are being ignored.

Oh please - isn't there anybody who can get rid of 'Luvvie Bill' or make him see sense? I can't hack it any more.

Christine Foster
84 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Darn Bernie, it never rains does it? Hope you will be ok, hang in there buddy! A good few more seasons at least! I think the penny has dropped with Frank and he realises the sad truth that this squad need gutting if we are to survive. We keep looking for a miracle manager to turn this sows ear into a silk purse. I have news, he doesn't exist. If Ancelotti walked because he never got the required backing from the owners ( thats what he said) then Lampard has no hope. I believe we will need to get a few players with a bit left in the tank, free players who will prevent us dropping, yard dogs with character and wannabe's.. this season is shaping up with a great deal of angst which if we are not careful will turn into anger.
Neil Copeland
85 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Kieran, drive safely
Bernie Quinn
86 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Thanks Christine - One can only hope - but my angst has already turned to anger. This is MY Club that Kenwright is ruining, and I really feel for Frank. His hands are completely tied by that Moron.
August 4th is my date with destiny, so I hope I hear you screaming or doing your Irish Jig on the 7th. Incidentally how Irish are you?
Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 22/07/2022 at
God Speed Bernie. If he's not selling, Mr Moshiri surely has to wake up from his Bill induced hypnotic sleep soon.

Speaking the same language Christine. I do think in the space of one friendly, the manager had a moment of realisation and is signalling to the owner and board. Although I'd rather not have the current board involved. Just back the DoF and manager and let them get on with it.

Pete Clarke
88 Posted 22/07/2022 at
About ten years ago I actually sat and thought that the only way for me to see Everton without BKs presence would be to outlive him. Now I’m only 58 and not in too bad shape but I’m seriously thinking that this horrible man who is destroying our club may actually outlive me.
I get the feeling he will be quietly telling Frank that everything will be fine but at the same time plotting his downfall to protect himself.
I am too far away from home to meet up and join the boys in their protests but I would advise anybody who can get there or do something to help remove this poisonous person from our club to do so. I don’t think I could handle walking into BMD stadium and looking up to see a statue of him or his name emblazoned across one of the stands.
Kenwright OUT.
Danny O’Neill
89 Posted 22/07/2022 at
I don't think we'll need to worry about a statue Peter.

I can't remember who responded, but I asked the question a while back about the dilemma of what we do with Dixie and the Holy Trinity. Leave them in their spiritual home or move them to Bramley Moore?

Apparently we can't have statues there. Can someone re-confirm this as I may have been dreaming.

Spiritual home or on the approach to the new stadium? I'm torn.

Brian Murray
90 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Danny. We have to dominate that stretch of town as much as possible so somewhere from james street onwards we should have the statues plus one of big nev and really rub them other crowds noses in it. Let denise deal with the community and legacy of goodison if by some fluke she’s still in a job by then. Just an opinion.
Danny O’Neill
91 Posted 22/07/2022 at
I have said before Brian, when I leave Gelsenkirchen station to watch Schalke, the main High Street is decorated in blue and white flags ad banners all the way along the high street. Then you have the "Schalke Mile" on the approach to the stadium. Pubs and buildings all decked in the colours.

I know it's different as they are a once club city. I wouldn't expect that outside Lime Street but I'd love to see something similar all the way from town on the approach to Bramley Moore. Create an enclave!!

Brian Murray
92 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Danny. We have seen time and time again that we are very weak at grasping the nettle in our favour. Cahill tim howard rodriguez to name a few. Your experience seeing schalke can you honestly see us doing any of that. More like more slapping of backs look at the stadium job done now be quiet while we float along another ten years. That’s the mindset which we have here. It reminds me of a sketch with del boy at a mansion because rodney was dating a blue blooded toff. He totally embarrassed himself and it was out of his league. Cue Denise and bk if they let loose anywhere near bmd.
Christine Foster
93 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Bernie, I think you're spot on, the one consistent issue can only be honesty. The board and Kenwright in particular, have known the state we are in at every point in 7 manager appointments. The promise of backing has been an empty one just prior to Ancelotti and certainly since.

Was Lampard aware how bad it is? Was he promised funds to replace players?

The board knew, Moshiri knew, Kenwright certainly knew. Frank has had a wake up call, one that will give him nightmares.

Are the chairman and owner missing in action? Has the new DoF been told no new money? Has he been knocked back by the board or the chairman..Lots of fair questions.

But one thing is clear. We have not got a Premier League team; we would struggle in the Championship. The manager, the fans in particular, lifted the players to pull off survival. But miracles are few and far between, rare.

To expect the fans to do it again would be a stretch, to expect the same players to produce different outcomes an even bigger one. At least the manager has gone public, something others should have done. One can only hope there are no blocks to the DoF.

Bernie Quinn
94 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Thanks Christine but you haven't answered my question - How much Irish blood do you have?

Oops Sorry Love - your answer is on another thread - You are Liverpool Irish - same as me.

I had that same feeling as your daughter when I first went to Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford. "I've come Home!"

Christine Foster
95 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Bernie, every time I manage to go to Greatie (Great Homer Street market) – not often being so far away – I feel it's my tribe, the people are the same size, speak through body language and inflexion, laugh and smile, it's home.

Makes me smile when I lapse back into a broad scouse accent without thinking about it... you can leave Liverpool but it will never leave you.

Andrew Ellams
96 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Fabrizio Romano claims we're interested in Leander Dendoncker from Wolves. We've been linked with worse
Fran Mitchell
97 Posted 22/07/2022 at
Dendoncker would add some strength and height to our midfield. Would be a huge improvement on what we have.

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