Everton have won three of 15 Premier League matches in 2022-23. When the season resumes after Christmas, the Toffees reengage in a fierce battle against relegation, with just one point separating them from Nottingham Forest in 18th.

Everton have only four points more than bottom-of-the-table Wolves, who are the only team with fewer goals scored.

Frank Lampard’s time at Chelsea split opinion.

He made the premature leap after managing Derby to a playoff finish in the Championship, and was replaced by Thomas Tuchel in west London, where he remains a club icon, having been one of the best Premier League midfielders of all-time

His spell on Merseyside has been similarly open-for-debate. There have been moments where Lampard seems like he can get the best out of a squad short on talent. At other times, he still looks out of his depth managing at this level.

Of permanent Everton managers, Lampard has the worst winning percentage since Howard Kendall’s stint at the end of the 1990s. He is the football betting favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked.

Everton have not been cautious handing out P-45s in recent seasons – Roberto Martinez was the last manager to last more than 18 months in the job, and Rafael Benitez departed just 22 matches into his spell.

Everton are a club with big ambitions. Such ambitions make life difficult for managers. There is an expectation the club will punch above its weight.

After the initial influx of spending under Farhad Moshiri, those over-the-top demands have decreased, and the current situation the club is in makes avoiding relegation the main, and only, priority. 

Lampard, then, will be judged on if he can build a cushion to 18th after leading the Toffees to safety late last season.

This Everton squad is not much better than that. Years of poor recruitment has hit the club hard. As other teams in the Premier League, including newly promoted sides, have spent significantly, Everton’s hands have been tied.

Richarlison and Lucas Digne have departed. The quality coming in is not of the same calibre of the majority of mid-table sides, and perhaps Lampard really is doing the best that can be done with such a group. 

Reasonable Expectations

Lampard is still learning as a manager, which is to be expected with someone of his experience. Everton are having to fight to tread water.

That shouldn’t be much of a surprise when you glance at the personnel at Lampard’s disposal, yet it is also important to note that this is not a case of results being misrepresentative. 

Everton have the second-worse expected goal difference per 90 in the Premier League.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin playing 340 minutes over the first 15 matches isn’t ideal, and Lampard has overseen some decent results, but barring Calvert-Lewin regaining his best form from 2020-21, there is little to cling onto heading into 2023.

Everton’s results and performances have been in the rough ballpark of their talent level. To expect Lampard to do much more is not necessarily realistic, even if some managers could squeeze slightly more production out of this group of players. 

Either good fortune or a very good manager is required for Everton to be comfortable from the drop zone at any point this season.

As it stands, fighting deep into the campaign is the best the club can hope for. They will be crossing everything in the hope that three teams are worse than them. 

Part of the challenge, though, is how two of the teams below them have already rolled the dice on managerial changes with Southampton and Wolves hiring Nathan Jones and Julen Lopetegui respectively. 

Even if Everton are rational about what is achievable with this squad, does the proactivity of teams around them nudge them towards a change themselves? 

Club Hierarchy Gets Twitchy

Any board can become uneasy when relegation is a realistic possibility. A club with Everton’s rich history, with its standing in English football, is more shaken by such a threat. 

They evaded the drop last season, but it is a stretch to say Lampard has enough of a track record to indicate he can do so again.

Make no mistake, this Everton team is at very real risk of relegation. In those circumstances, boards will begin to hover on that trigger finger. 

Where Everton would go next is unclear. Mauricio Pochettino has been mooted, as has Ange Postecoglu. Would Brendan Rodgers be interested? Could Sean Dyche step in? 

With clubs in these situations, though, it is often not about who comes in, but simply about trying to shake things up. A New Manager Bounce could drag Everton away from the bottom three. 

Likely Next To Go

Lampard seems very likely to be the next manager sacked, in part because there are so few other candidates. West Ham have disappointed, but David Moyes has earned patience from the London Stadium hierarchy and fanbase.

The Hammers, too, are up in seventh on expected goal difference per 90, indicating there has both been an element of misfortune thus far and that they can expect an improvement.

Chelsea are not going to fire Graham Potter so soon after going all-in on the project. Like West Ham, Leeds’ underlying numbers suggest Jesse Marsch should be fine. Nottingham Forest extended Steve Cooper’s contract as recently as October. 

The statistics are not in Lampard’s favour. Plus, Everton’s track record shows they will not be overly hesitant to make a change. 

Everton’s season resumes with a match against Wolves, which could carry seismic consequence. A poor result there and Lampard will surely be on the brink with Manchester City on New Year’s Eve and Brighton on 3rd January.

It is not a great situation to throw any manager into, but perhaps change could be enough for Everton to stave off the drop once again.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*


Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.