• Dan Smith


After the departure of manager Rafael Benitez, Everton are looking to reignite their 2021/22 campaign with former Chelsea and Derby County manager Frank Lampard.

Everton fans will no doubt be feeling some optimism right now after their club completed some very good business during the January transfer window.

The first move Everton made was sacking Rafael Benitez and replacing him with a manager at the other end of his coaching career, Frank Lampard.

The 43-year-old - who has been out of management since January 2021 - has shown though how he can have a positive impact on teams.

At Derby County, Lampard managed to guide them to a play-off final, knocking out Leeds United in a memorable 4-3 semi-final.

Unfortunately for him Derby then lost in the final and currently find themselves bottom of the championship after they were deducted a total of 21 points for entering administration in September and for historical financial breaches.

However, despite the upset in the play offs, what Lampard had achieved had put him in the spotlight to become the new Chelsea manager.

The Chelsea job didn’t quite work out for the former England international, but there were still positives to bring from it.

Lampard deployed a very forward-thinking style of play that focused on free-flowing attacking football that took shape of a 4-3-3 formation.

He guided the Blues to a top four finish in the 2019/2020 season with a transfer embargo in place which actually allowed him to bring through and develop plenty of young players, with Mason Mount the standout name that started to shine.

As a midfielder himself, Lampard knows how to work and improve players who sit in a similar position to where he did.

So, we know what Lampard has offered in the past, but how can he affect Everton?

Everton have not been looking that great recently and it is starting to look slightly worrying for the Toffees.

Currently sat 16th in the Premier League, Everton will be hopeful that Lampard can get them firing again, similar to how they started the season.

Although it doesn’t look too great for Everton right now, there is still reason to hold some optimism.

Donny Van De Beek and Dele Alli are two players that Everton got over the line in January and two players that will really suit Lampard’s style of play.

Dele is very similar to Mason Mount positionally, suggesting that it won’t be too surprising if Dele is a standout player for Everton.

As for Van De Beek, his lack of game time at Manchester United might mean that he is not quite up to speed but should also mean that he is hungry to play football and hungry to prove himself in this league.

As of yet we haven’t seen much of those two players, and they were unable to make an immediate impact in Everton’s 3-1 defeat to Newcastle on Tuesday.

That was Frank’s first Premier League game in charge, but it didn’t really give out good impressions to the Everton support, despite the comprehensive victory over Brentford in the FA Cup last Saturday.

However, Lampard was unable to utilise his familiar 4-3-3 formation after two first half injuries to Gray and Yerry Mina and he hasn’t really had time to work with the squad for a prolonged amount of time.

With players such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Allan and Andros Townsend though, it is clear to see that there is an abundance of talent for Lampard to work with heading into the critical part of the season.

With Leeds on the weekend, it is vital that Everton pick something up from that game as Marcelo Bielsa's side sit just above Everton in 15th and are in the midst of a significant injury crisis.

Nonetheless, it will still be a tough game for the Toffees and if they were to win, it has the potential to be a season-defining result.

Everton are undoubtedly in a better position than before January and there is a great squad for Lampard to work with and one that suits his playing style very well.

It is now important that Everton start to look ahead rather than over their shoulders in what is a very competitive relegation scrap.