Everton are in possibly their most perilous position for over 15 years, teetering on the edge of relegation from the Premier League. This weekend, following a horrible drubbing at the hands of Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, Toffee’s manager Frank Lampard chose to publicly criticise his players, a move that for most, never pays off.
Lampard’s team fell well short of the mark in the game at Selhurst Park, losing 4-0 and missing out an opportunity to head to Wembley, and really give fans something to hang onto this season.
Following the game, the former Chelsea midfielder had this to say about his players.
"“There is only so much you can keep trying to butter someone up to give them confidence,” manager Lampard said.“We are playing at the cut-throat end of football here. This is a cup quarter-final to get to Wembley and if you haven’t got the confidence to play, you can quickly flip it and say have you got the ******** to play?“Sorry, excuse me, but that is the football reality. If you fall somewhere in the middle then don’t worry about it.” (via BBC Sport)"
This could be a stroke of genius, it could create the wave that get’s Everton’s players up for the run in, or it could leave them feeling they have a manager with no plan.
Publicly criticising players was something often adopted by Lampard’s former boss Joe Mourinho, in his early days of management, it often got what he wanted, but as his career has gone on and the trophies have dried up, so has it’s effectiveness. Mourinho has also never been in a relegation scrap.
The brash nature of the England International’s comment’s lead a lot to be desired, has he already lost the dressing room? Does he lack the idea’s to pull Everton up? Or does he just believe this is the only way to get through to the group? Either way it leaves a lot of questions for Toffee fans, and none of them are good.
Against Palace, the team lacked any sort of spark or drive, so to be upset is correct, but will it garner the right answers? Or lead to more of a fallout? It’s by doing this that Lampard opens the can of worms.
Following the International break, Everton face West Ham United and then Burnley, two huge games in their survival hopes, and two games where we should see the outcome of the Blue’s manager’s comments.