Frank Lampard ‘a Unity Candidate Who can Heal Divisions’ at Everton

Frank Lampard ‘a Unity Candidate Who can Heal Divisions’ at Everton

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03 Feb 2022
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Nick
Everton

Frank Lampard has been tipped to be the unifying candidate that has the capabilities to heal divisions at Everton

Twelve months on from his Chelsea dismissal, Lampard assumes control as Everton manager with the Merseyside club mired in supporter unrest and sinking like a stone towards the Premier League relegation zone after the ill-advised and short-lived reign of Rafael Benitez.

The former England midfielder has waited for his moment to return, and after a chaotic recruitment process, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has alighted on the unity candidate to lift spirits and heal divisions at Goodison Park.

“Sensible” is not a word much associated with Everton in recent times as Moshiri’s high-risk strategy of appointing former Liverpool manager Benitez in the face of supporter suspicion and reservations in his own boardroom went wrong.

The arrival of Lampard, an intelligent thinker on the game with a forward-looking approach, could redress the balance.

Moshiri may have taken the scenic route in his managerial search, but there is a feeling inside Everton that he may have arrived at the right destination.

Once Benitez was sacked after the 2-1 defeat at Norwich City, Everton turned to Belgium coach and former manager Roberto Martinez – a move laced with irony because he was the first of five men in charge who have been sacked by Moshiri. Martinez’s dismissal in May 2016 came amid the sort of fan protests that have been seen again in recent times.

Former striker Wayne Rooney declined to enter the pageant of candidates for an interview, instead opting to stay at Derby County. So it boiled down to Lampard, Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira and current caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson.

Pereira was initially Moshiri’s favoured choice, but he also became a target for fan anger along with agent Kia Joorabchian, who Everton fans feel exerts too much influence over Moshiri’s thinking.

The reaction put Moshiri on the back foot, leaving 53-year-old Pereira to re-enact his job interview and state his case in a 20-minute live TV interview, which actually appeared to do his chances more harm than good.

It allowed Lampard back into the race, and once a final round of interviews was conducted on Friday, the job was his.

Lampard is already a popular choice with supporters who are distrustful of the decision-making progress at Everton. His popularity is a big plus for Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright, who has also been under heavy fire from fans.

Moshiri could not afford another Benitez-style corrosive appointment, which Pereira was shaping up to be – so Lampard may turn out to be the best man available to Everton in a limited field.

 

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