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Not good enough... Everton manager Frank Lampard appears to be on borrowed time. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Everton blew a huge chance to distance themselves from the relegation zone on Saturday when they lost at home to bottom club Southampton and now I feel coach Frank Lampard must pay the price.

The former Chelsea man appears totally out of his depth and incapable of getting the team to win or play with any passion or pride. He looks like a dead man walking and there won’t be too many that are sorry to see him go.

The Toffees have given him enough time to stamp his authority on the side but he has failed to do so. He has been in charge for a year and taken the club backwards. The team was struggling when he arrived and they seemed to only get worse but survived relegation by the skin of their teeth.

Transfer market

Lampard was then heavily backed in the summer transfer market but made several bizarre signings, namely Dwight McNeil from Burnley and Neil Maupay from Brighton. He lost star man Richarlison but knew the Brazilian was going to leave months in advance but failed to find a suitable replacement.

McNeil and Maupay now cannot even make the bench let alone the starting eleven as Lampard has figured out what the fans already knew – that the pair are nowhere near good enough. They are not Premier League level. McNeil is woefully short of quality and would struggle to make it in any of the Championship teams.

Poor dealing in the transfer market is just one reason Lampard must be shown the door now. After 12 months in charge, Everton look clueless. There appears no style of play. It is haphazard. The team looks weak, slow, second to every ball and lack a cutting edge up front.

Had Everton beaten Southampton it could have been the turning point of their season. Instead, it turned out to be their lowest point.

This is another dismal campaign for the Blues and the fans have had enough. They staged a sit-in protest after the 2-1 defeat calling for the club’s board to resign. They feel the owners are to blame for the predicament the team finds itself in. But owner Farhad Moshiri has spent almost half a billion pounds on new players and a new stadium which is being built by the River Mersey. He is trying to turn the club’s fortunes around and has splashed the cash.

Failed miserably

But this is not the fault of the board or the owner. They are not football people and cannot be blamed for the lackluster displays the team is showing on the pitch. They hired Lampard, who has played under several high-profile managers such as Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho, hoping he may have learned something from those coaches and could bring the good times back to Goodison. After all it is he, and his assistant coaches, who work with the players day in day out. But, he has failed miserably to improve them.

A win on Saturday would have lifted spirits and eased the pressure on Lampard. But following a 10th league defeat which saw the team slump to second from bottom in the table, it appears time is running out for the coach. In his 37 matches in charge since 31 January last year he has lost 20 of them.

Everton is one of the biggest clubs in football and has a proud and rich history. They may not currently be contenders for the Premier League but should be challenging for a top five spot at the very least. They were regulars in Europe under David Moyes but ever since he left for Manchester United, the club has fallen down the pecking order. And now, for the second consecutive season, they are fighting for survival. That simply is not good enough.

New coach

There is time for Everton to turn things around and pull off another escape, but I believe it will only happen with a new coach in charge. Someone with experience. The statistics make for worrying reading for Lampard. Everton are winless in their past seven Premier League matches - their longest run without a victory within the same season since October to December in 2021, when they failed to win eight in a row under Rafael Benitez.

They have also lost their past four home Premier League games for the first time since 1958.

Moshiri appears confident in Lampard’s ability and publicly backed him earlier this week. They travel to fellow strugglers West Ham next. Ironically, it is where Lampard’s career in football began. And it could be where his time as Everton’s manager ends.