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The Frank Lampard Love-In After Everton's Survival Was Downright Bizarre

The Frank Lampard Love-In After Everton's Survival Was Downright Bizarre
By Gary Connaughton
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After a nervy few months, Everton finally secured their Premier League status in the most dramatic of fashions last night.

Their fans were surely fearing the worst when their side found themselves 2-0 at halftime at home to Crystal Palace, with a loss in that fixture putting them under serious pressure ahead of the final set of fixtures this weekend.

However, an excellent second half display saw them completely flip the game on its head. Goals from Michael Keane, Richarlison, and a late Dominic Calvert-Lewin header meant that they would eventually run out as 3-2 winners and as a result ensure themselves a place in the top flight for next season.

Goodison Park was met with some joyous scenes as a result, with supporters running onto the pitch to celebrate the victory.

It was certainly an emotional night for the club, with Frank Lampard himself right at the centre of it. Not only did he lead the fans in their celebrations, giving an emotional interview after the game.

The former England midfielder took over the club at the end of January, experiencing some mixed results. However, he will be happy that the campaign ended on a high note.

Inevitably, many of the usual suspects were quick to come out and praise the job that Lampard has done at Everton.



Of course, the reality is a bit more nuanced than that. While Everton did well to ensure they did not finish in the bottom three, the facts are that they never should have found themselves in that position in the first place. Lampard had a large part to play in that.

Everton are one of the highest spending clubs in Europe over the last five years or so, meaning an incredible amount if mismanagement was required to land them in this position. That was only compounded by the bizarre appointment of Rafael Benitez, who was sacked after a run of one win in 14 games.


Lampard inherited a situation which wasn't necessarily straightforward, but to hail him as some sort of miracle worker is certainly wide of the mark.

When he got the job Everton sat in 14th place, five points above the relegation zone with three-and-a-half months to play with. That is not exactly a death sentence for any manager, with even a modest upturn in form enough to drag them well up the table. Instead, The Toffees were still battling for survival in the final week of the campaign.

They actually moved closer to danger under Lampard and a lot of that was his own doing.

Whereas the port of call for most managers is to establish a clear playing identity, Everton to this day look like a team without a defined system or approach to the game. They change tactics and formation seemingly every week, with Lampard frequently responding to a defeat by tearing up his pervious tactical game plan.

Some would fairly argue that such measures may be required in a relegation dog fight, but it is hardly something that is indicative of someone who is a master tactician.

He does deserve credit for getting the fans back onside, even if they were booing their own players as recently as halftime in last night's game. In saying that, it would have taken quite the character not to win the fans over after replacing arguably the least popular manager in the club's history.

In all, many couldn't understand the sudden love in for Frank Lampard.

Of course, this is just the latest instance in Frank Lampard's career where he has received a huge amount of praise for what were actually rather average returns. The same was true at both Derby County and Chelsea.

The fact that he is a genuine legend of the game certainly has something to do with that. It's difficult to imagine that Paulo Fonseca would have gotten the same level of praise had he gotten the job in January and achieved an identical set of results.

Next season is set to prove more of a challenge for the manager, where a relegation battle will not be accepted after he has more time with the squad and a transfer window to attempt to shape the team. But for now, the legend of super Frank Lampard lives on...

SEE ALSO: Rafael Benitez Throws Subtle Frank Lampard Dig After Everton Form

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