FRANK Lampard is a very lucky lad to be on the touchline as Everton manager for tonight’s Merseyside derby at Anfield – as I don’t think he deserved to be there.
Ampard was a fantastic player for Chelsea and England, with his scoring in midfield cementing his legacy as one of the greats of the Premier League era.
However, being a top player doesn’t necessarily mean you’re equipped to be a top manager – and I’m pretty sure the Everton hierarchy will be concerned about their decision to hire Lampard now.
With just seven Premier League games left I don’t think they have a manager capable of quenching the relegation fire burning around them.
They had to get rid of Rafa Benitez because he was never right for Everton – and it came as no surprise to me or anyone when he failed miserably at Goodison Park.
The problem was that Everton didn’t have too many other options to turn to when they needed to fill a gap in leadership – and Lampard ended up getting the job because of his status in the game.
Look at his managerial career and tell me how he qualified to manage a club of Everton’s stature and history?
Lampard hasn’t done much in his time as Derby boss, got the job at Chelsea due to his legendary status at that club – and was sacked after failing to make progress with them.
Thomas Tuchel then took charge of Lampard at Chelsea and quickly set about wringing a tune out of a squad that had strayed, with the new manager he replaced being exposed by the success of his successor.
Then Lampard somehow became the overwhelming choice of Everton fans to replace Benitez and at the time I didn’t understand why.
This club needed a seasoned manager who knew how to pull a team out of relegation troubles and Lampard has never done any of that in his short managerial career.
The lack of high profile managers in the game was highlighted by Everton’s decision to hire Lampard and now I fear they will pay the ultimate price.
I’m not usually overly optimistic about Liverpool’s chances ahead of big games, but I’m changing my mind ahead of tonight’s derby.
If Jurgen Klopp’s side do anything remotely close to their best they will beat Everton and an early goal or two could put the Merseyside blue half in a slap.
As we saw in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Manchester United on Tuesday night, this side takes no prisoners when they see weaknesses in their opponents and they will have a whiff of revenge on their noses too.
I thought Everton were putting on an open-top bus parade when they ended a 22-year wait to win at Anfield last season, at a time when Liverpool were in the depths of a terrible slump and had no fans at the stadium, to pull them out of it.
Well the atmosphere today will be very different and after seeing Mohamed Salah come back to life with a couple of goals in the thrashing game against United he will be striving for more today.
Burnley’s win over Southampton on Thursday night put the pressure on Everton and now they look very vulnerable.
If Burnley play Wolves at 2pm and they win, Everton could go into the Liverpool game in the relegation zone and under the most pressure imaginable.
If you look at their finishes they have tough games ahead of them against Chelsea, Leicester, Watford, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal and you can’t count on them winning too many of them in their current form, let’s face it. They really are a terrible team.
They’ve spent more money on the transfer market than Liverpool and yet their pathetic recruitment has left them in this mess.
Managers came and went at a rapid pace, and each had to try and cope with the failed signings of their predecessor.
Mistakes have always been made in the transfer market and manager appointments and I have a feeling they made another one when they hired Lampard.
Now Everton fans, who laughed at Liverpool’s expense when they won at Anfield last season, could wipe the smile off their faces this afternoon.
As we’ve seen over the last few days with Manchester City and their neighbors United, if you’re not at your best, this Liverpool side will put you in the cleaners.
So prepare for another goal fest at Anfield today as Liverpool look to keep the pressure on Manchester City in the title race.
Looking at the five games they still have to play in the Premier League, I would be very surprised if Pep Guardiola’s side slipped and Liverpool opened the door to lift the title.
But the way Liverpool are playing you can see them finishing this season with a treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.
This is as good a Liverpool side as we’ve seen in terms of squad density and quality in so many areas and that’s why they win so many games.
I expect they will continue that great run today by putting a good punch to Everton at Anfield today.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/frank-lampard-is-very-lucky-to-be-at-anfield-this-afternoon-he-doesnt-deserve-to-be-there-41582435.html John Aldridge: Frank Lampard is very lucky to be at Anfield this afternoon – he didn’t deserve to be there