Liverpool legend John Aldridge has suggested that Everton could regret their decision to task Frank Lampard with helping them survive relegation this season.
The Reds are set to host arch-rivals Everton at Anfield in the Premier League this evening. Jurgen Klopp and Co will be looking to build on their 4-0 win against Manchester United when they face the Toffees.
Everton caused an upset at Anfield last season as they earned their first away win against Liverpool in 22 years. However, a lot has changed at both clubs since Carlo Ancelotti led the Toffees to a 2-0 victory over Liverpool.
Klopp’s side are four points behind table-toppers Manchester City, but could reduce the gap to one point with a win today. Everton, on the other hand, face the risk of suffering relegation this term as they sit just one point above 18th-placed Burnley.
Lampard, who replaced Rafael Benitez as Everton’s manager in January, is responsible for ensuring the club avoid the drop this campaign. Aldridge, though, is not sure if the Englishman is good enough to succeed in the task.
The Liverpool great feels Lampard does not deserve to be in charge of Everton. He is of the view that the former midfielder is lucky to be on the touchline against Klopp and Co today. Aldridge wrote in his Sunday World column:
“Frank Lampard is a very lucky lad to be on the touchline as Everton manager for today’s Merseyside derby at Anfield – as I don’t think he deserves to be there. Lampard was a fantastic player for Chelsea and England, with his goal-scoring record from midfield cementing his legacy as one of the greats of the Premier League era.”
“Yet being a top player does not necessarily mean you are equipped to be a top manager – and I’m pretty sure Everton’s hierarchy will be concerned by their decision to hire Lampard now. With just seven Premier League games left to play, I don’t think they have a manager equipped to put out the relegation fire burning around them.”
It remains to be seen if Lampard can prove Aldridge wrong by leading Everton to a win against the Reds at Anfield today.
What has changed at Everton since their win at Liverpool?
Ancelotti led the Toffees to a 10th-place finish in the Premier League last season. However, the Italian tactician left them for La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer.
Everton interestingly brought in former Liverpool boss Benitez as Ancelotti’s replacement ahead of the 2021-22 season. The Spaniard, though, struggled to succeed at Goodison Park and was eventually sacked in January this year.
The Toffees then hired former Chelsea manager Lampard on a two-and-a-half-year deal. At the time of the Englishman’s arrival, the Merseyside outfit sat 16th in the table, just four points above the relegation zone.
Three months down the line, Everton find themselves sitting 17th in the table, just one point above the drop zone. However, they have a game in hand over 18th-placed Burnley.