Stakes for Everton’s relegation battle are bigger than when I won Premier League, asserts Frank Lampard
Everton boss Frank Lampard has revealed that the stakes for the Toffees’ battle against relegation is higher than when he won the Premier League title because of what it means to the fans. The Toffees have dragged themselves out of the relegation zone but still sit one point above the drop zone.
With Everton sacking Rafael Benitez in January, many believed that it was the end for the club and that they would be playing Championship football next season. However, while Frank Lampard has struggled to find his footing as their new manager, the Englishman has turned a corner recently. Just one loss in their last five games combined with struggles elsewhere has seen Everton leap out of the relegation zone by one point.
However, with four games left in the season for them, the Toffees have a long way to go and it has many wondering whether the club could actually make the final cut. But in light of that, Frank Lampard has admitted that he knows how high the stakes are and that for him, this is bigger than “when I won the Premier League” simply because of “what it means to the club”. He also added that the financial implications could be even bigger but they’ve “got a big job to do”.
“When you live this experience of a relegation battle it so consumes you and you so want the right thing because you understand what the stakes are. The stakes for this are bigger for me now than when I won the Premier League as a player because of what it means to the club,” Lampard said, reported the Guardian.
“You know the economics of it are greater as well, to a different degree, and you know what it means to the fans and the people who work here. There shouldn’t be any way, with four games to go and one point out of the relegation zone, that you think you are fine. We’ve got a big job to do still.”
The former Chelsea and Derby County boss spent nearly a year out of a job after he was sacked by the Blues in January 2021 before Everton took the plunge and signed him on. But Lampard admitted that he could “have waited” and done nothing for the next six months but he wanted to get back in the game and that’s why he took the leap as well. He also added that getting back into the thick of things with Everton “has been a really huge thing” for him.
“I possibly could have waited. I could have sat on my arse and done the bins at home for another six months. That has actually seemed quite appealing a couple times in the last few months! But it’s how I’ve been all my career. You build up a thicker skin as you go along, and you get excited by challenges.
“If I had been somewhere else waiting I wouldn’t be experiencing 3,300 fans perform like they did the other day [at Leicester], or coming to the training ground or turning up for the Chelsea game. The feeling of that, this club and understanding how big it is, and what it is on the line here, has been a really huge thing for me,” he added.