This time last week there was major discontent at Everton. The Merseysider’s hierarchy had endured protests due to the poor handling of the management of the club. The appointment of the team’s new head coach had also turned into a fiasco.
However, the mood of the whole club seemed to change last Monday when Frank Lampard finally arrived at the club as head coach. The former Chelsea boss also brought in coaches Paul Clement, Joe Edwards and Chris Jones. Lampard’s former teammate Ashley Cole has also since arrived as part of the coaching staff.
A win on his debut at Goodison Park
Lampard made his debut as Everton boss on Saturday afternoon, as the Toffees swept Brentford aside 4-1 at Goodison Park in the FA Cup fifth round, despite the absence of key players Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
In truth, Everton looked like a different team to one formerly coached by Rafa Benitez. They pressed better, they passed better and dominated for the majority of the game. The likes of Allan and Andre Gomes were superb in midfield. The latter especially looked like he enjoyed playing under Lampard for the first time. He seemed to enjoy far more freedom and it was an Andre Gomes that has not been seen for a long time.
Frank Lampard received a massive welcome introduction before the game and the former England international. He seemed to enjoy the occasion, celebrating goals almost like a fan on the sidelines. He already seems to have built a massive positive connection with the fans by the things he has said and the fact his team played far more on the front foot than his predecessor.
Has to be just the start for Lampard and Everton
As Lampard himself said after the game, it is just the first game and the start of improvement for the Toffees new head coach on Merseyside. The performance against Brentford was obviously not perfect, but the difference in the players was highly noticeable. Considering that Lampard has had less than a week to work with the players.
The defence still looked slightly suspect, but the way that the new Everton head coach wants to play means players taking more risks. When a team plays like that there are risks involved and it is all about the players being comfortable on the ball.
In recent months, the players have almost treated the ball like a hot potato, attempting to get rid of it as quickly as possible. That often led to the concession of possession. On Saturday, the players didn’t look scared, they looked confident in possession.
It was a positive start to life under Lampard. However, attention must now switch to Tuesday night’s trip to Newcastle, who are just four points adrift of the Toffees in the table. A victory at St James Park would do a lot to ease relegation worries.
Everybody connected with the Merseysider’s will be hoping that the win over Brentford is the catalyst for a far better second half of the season. Judging by the win in Lampard’s opening game as Toffee’s boss and the improvement in the atmosphere surrounding the club, things will be much improved on the pitch for the rest of the season.
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Will Frank Lampard’s arrival lead to a brighter future for Everton?