big break | 

Frank Lampard was lucky to get the Everton job - and I don't think he deserves it

Being a top player does not necessarily mean you are equipped to be a top manager - as Lampard is finding out.

Everton manager Frank Lampard. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

John Aldridge

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.

They had to get rid of Rafa Benitez because he was never the right fit for Everton – and it was no surprise to me, or anyone else, when he failed miserably at Goodison Park.

The trouble was, Everton didn’t have too many other options to turn to when they had a managerial void to fill – and Lampard ended up getting the job on the back of his status in the game.

Look at his managerial record and tell me how he qualified to manage a club of Everton’s stature and history?

Lampard didn’t do too much in his time in charge of Derby, got the Chelsea job on the back of his legendary status at that club – and was fired after failing to make progress with them.

Thomas Tuchel then took over from Lampard at Chelsea and quickly set about getting a tune out of a squad that had lost its way, with the novice manager he replaced exposed by the success his successor inspired.

Then, somehow, Lampard became the overwhelming choice of Everton fans to replace Benitez and at the time, I didn’t understand why.

This club needed a proven manager who knew how to get a team out of relegation trouble and Lampard has never done any of that in his brief managerial career.

The lack of top-class managers in the game right now was highlighted by Everton’s decision to hire Lampard and now I fear they will pay the ultimate price.

I’m not normally too bullish about Liverpool’s chances ahead of big games, but I’m changing my tune ahead of today’s derby.

If Jurgen Klopp’s side play anywhere near their best, they will beat Everton and an early goal or two could result in a battering for the blue half of Merseyside.

As we saw with Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition of Manchester United on Tuesday night, this team take no prisoners when they see weakness in their opponents and they will also have a whiff of revenge in their nostrils as well.

I thought Everton were going to arrange an open top bus parade when they ended a 22-year wait for a win at Anfield last season, at a time when Liverpool were in the depths of a horrible slump and had no fans in the stadium to pull them out of it.

Well, today’s atmosphere will be very different and after watching Mohamed Salah spring back into life with a couple of goals in the spanking of United, he will be gunning for more today.

Burnley’s win against Southampton on Thursday evening has piled the pressure on Everton and now they look very vulnerable.

With Burnley playing Wolves at 2pm and if they win, Everton could head into the Liverpool game in the relegation zone and under the most intense pressure imaginable.

Looking at their run-in, they have tough matches against Chelsea, Leicester, Watford, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal to come and you can’t be confident of them winning too many of them on their current form as let’s be honest here, they really are a dreadful team.

They have spent more money in the transfer market than Liverpool and yet their woeful recruitment has left them in this mess.

Managers have come and gone at a rapid rate and each one has been left to try and manage the failed signings of his predecessor.

Mistakes have been made time and again in the transfer market and the appointment of managers and I feel they made another when they hired Lampard.

Now those Everton fans who were laughing at Liverpool’s expense when they won at Anfield last season could have the smiles wiped off their faces this afternoon.

As we saw with Manchester City and their neighbours United in recent days, this Liverpool side take you to the cleaners if you are not at your best.

So stand by for another goal-fest at Anfield today, as Liverpool will try to keep the pressure up on Manchester City in the title race.

Looking at the five games they have left to play in the Premier League, I’d be very surprised if Pep Guardiola’s side slip up and open the door for Liverpool to clinch the title.

Yet the way Liverpool are playing, you can see them finishing this season with a cup treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.

This is as good a Liverpool side as we have seen in terms of depth of squad and quality in so many areas and that’s why they are winning so many matches.

I fully expect them to continue that terrific run today by giving Everton a good beating at Anfield today.

Today's Headlines

More Soccer

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos