Bielsa, Dyche, Rooney – Everton’s managerial options

Bielsa, Dyche, Rooney - Everton's managerial options
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Everton manager Frank Lampard gestures during their Premier League match against West Ham
Frank Lampard won nine of his 38 Premier League games in charge of Everton

Everton are once again on the hunt for a new manager.

After eight Premier League games without a win Frank Lampard was sacked on Monday, leaving the Toffees searching for a seventh permanent manager since the start of the 2016 season.

But who next? Are the problems deeper than the boss? And what’s next for Lampard?

“He should have gotten more out of this team”

When Lampard took over at Goodison Park on January 31 last year, Everton were 16th in the Premier League, six points clear of the relegation zone.

They lost 10 of their remaining 18 games but secured safety by one 3-2 win in comeback over Crystal Palace and finished 16th.

Brazil forward Richarlison, who scored 10 league goals last season, was sold to Tottenham for £60m, but the club spent over £80m on the likes of the Belgian midfielder Amadou Onana from Lille for £33m and Dwight McNeil of Burnley for 20 million pounds.

They started the season with two defeats and then four draws, before a first win came against West Ham on 18 September. Just two followed in the next 13, with Lampard kicked after a 2-0 loss at fellow strugglers West Ham on Saturday, meaning the Toffees had taken just two points from the last 24.

It left them in 19th place, above bottom-placed Southampton on goal difference, and two points from safety.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club, former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton said: “They had to do something, didn’t they? The club is so toxic. Something has to change.

“I think he’s unfortunate in many respects in what he took over. I thought he did brilliantly last season to keep them up, they haven’t got going and there are extenuating circumstances, but the question is: should he have more of this current squad? I think there’s an argument to be made that he really should have been.”

On Sky Sports, former Manchester United and England right-back Gary Neville said Everton’s players “are a disaster” and that some of the mistakes they made in the defeat to West Ham were “criminal”.

Ex-Liverpool full-back Jamie Carragher said the team had “become such an easy touch”, adding: “It’s not just Frank, it’s the players too. That group of players aren’t good enough, that’s clear, but they shouldn’t lie at the bottom of the league.

“I always associate Everton, as a kid and when I played against them, as a tough place to go. They were uncompromising, aggressive, but they’re the easiest touch in the Premier League now. If you’re on a bad run you want to play Everton .”

That is evidenced by clubs around Everton with West Ham’s win their first in eight, while Southampton’s only win in nine came at Goodison Park and Bournemouth’s only win in 11 was at home to Everton.

“No overall vision” and “the worst run club in the country”

There have been widespread and vocal fan protests against the board, with supporters staging a sit-in following the defeat at Southampton.

Everton board missed that match due to what the club claimed was a “real and credible threat to their safety”.

Merseyside Police said no threats or incidents had been reported to officers before the match in the past It was announced by Everton “enhanced security procedures” would be introduced.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri was attending his first game in 14 months at West Ham and he suggested, when questioned by Sky Sports at the game, that it was not up to him to decide Lampard’s future. It led to questions and confusion about who made decisions and the structure in place at the club.

Permanent Everton managers under Farhad Moshiri: Roberto Martinez (5 June 2013–12 May 2016), Ronald Koeman (1 July 2016–23 October 2017), Sam Allardyce (30 November 2017–16 May 2018), Marco Silva (31 May 2018 ) 5 Dec 2019), Carlo Ancelotti (22 December 2019–30 June 2021), Rafael Benitez (1 July 2021–16 January 2022) and Frank Lampard (31 January 2022–23 January 2023)
Farhad Moshiri has sacked seven coaches since taking over the club in February 2016

Rory Smith, chief football correspondent of the New York Times, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “There seems to be no coherent thought, no overall vision, there is no plan.

“His [Moshiri’s] meetings are few, not odd, but they do not match. He gives them power but then he has a football manager. Recruitment is a mess. If you look at the money they’ve spent, and it’s been plenty since Moshiri took over, they’ve made some good signings but they’ve made loads that just don’t make sense.”

Former Chelsea player Pat Nevin agreed that Moshiri’s managerial appointments are a problem, saying: “If you start looking a bit further back, since 2016, at the managers they’ve had in, who’s really been a success? You’d maybe could say Carlo Ancelotti, but there’s something darker in there and it doesn’t work at Everton at a deeper level.”

Dominic King, northern football correspondent for the Daily Mail, said Everton’s approach to managers, who have not seen one for the last two seasons of the last seven years, as “a tricky way of doing things”, while Sutton added: “Everton are making it up . as they go.”

Neville agreed, saying he struggled to understand why a club went from Sam Allardyce to Carlo Ancelotti to Rafael Benitez, highlighting the different playing styles of each.

“They are absolutely all over the place when it comes to the identity of the football club,” Neville said. “They have no identity. They have moved from one spectrum to the other, they have no consistency.”

Carragher said Everton had approached him after he called them “the worst-run club in the country” six to 12 months ago, but he said “I didn’t think I was wrong then and I don’t think I’m wrong now.” .

“He must be a genius” – who can take over?

Former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is on the shortlist to replace Lampard with Moshiri known to be a fan of the 67-year-old. However, it is unknown if the Argentine would take on a job in the middle of the season.

Sean Dyche, who has been unemployed since he sacked by Burnley April last year, will likely be discussed.

Ex-Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was discussed by the Everton board when Lampard was appointed, and is available after being was plundered by the saints in November.

They are all in the top five with the bookies, along with former Everton players Wayne Rooney, who is in charge of MLS club DC United, and Duncan Ferguson, who has had two short spells as caretaker manager.

King told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Bielsa is the favourite. I’d say he’d be a genius if he can get them to play football the way he likes to play football.”

Former Everton captain Alan Stubbs told BBC Radio 5 Live that he believes Rooney would enjoy the job and “he is certainly a name that can reconcile the friction and animosity between the board and the fans”.

Ex-Toffees forward Kevin Campbell said he believed Dyche’s style of football “would suit Everton and the fans”, adding that “the next meeting will be really important”.

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‘He might need to go abroad’ – what’s next for Lampard?

Lampard had a win rate of 23.68% at Everton, picking up three points in just nine of his 38 Premier League appearances.

It sees the former England midfielder sacked from a second Premier League position after lasts for 18 months at former club Chelsea, where he had a win rate of 52.4%.

Sutton said it is “really hard” to see Lampard “going into another Premier League job”.

“He might have to cut his teeth overseas or at a Championship club where he thinks he has a chance to pick them up,” added Sutton. “He is a determined individual and he will want to achieve. This will have done him some damage.”

Nevin agreed, saying: “He would have done absolutely everything he could. He’s had two of the biggest jobs in the Premier League – he’s not going to get a big one next time.

“Does he need to do a David Moyes and go abroad? Does he need to rebuild? I don’t know, he’s still a rookie manager.”

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