LIVERPOOL – Japan Today
Everton on Monday appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager on a two-and-a-half year deal with the task of keeping the Toffees in the Premier League.
Lampard has been out of the game since being sacked as Chelsea boss a little over a year ago.
The former England international will take charge for the first time on Saturday when Everton host Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
“It is a huge honor for me to represent and manage a club the size and tradition of Everton Football Club. I’m very hungry to get started,” said Lampard.
“I think Everton is a unique club in that you can really understand what the fans want to see. The first thing they want is fight and desire and that must always be our baseline.
“My first message to the players will be that we have to do this together. We’ll try to do our job and I know the fans will be there backing us.”
Lampard takes charge with Everton just four points above the relegation zone.
Rafael Benitez was sacked earlier in January following a 2-1 defeat relegation rivals Norwich.
The Spaniard had been an unpopular appointment with Everton fans due to his history as a Champions League-winning manager for Liverpool.
Supporters protested inside Goodison Park after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on January 22 and outside the stadium over the past week at the running of the club by British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri.
Moshiri has spent over half a billion pounds ($672 million) on transfers since his takeover in 2016, but much of that money has been wasted.
Lampard becomes the club’s seventh permanent manager in less than six years.
His former England teammate Wayne Rooney turned down the chance to have an interview for the job, while Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira was reportedly the favourite until a fan revolt against his appointment.
“I am really delighted that Frank has joined us,” said Moshiri. “He has played at the very highest level of the game and has football in his blood. He impressed us all greatly during the thorough interview process and we’re all ready to give him all of our support as he looks to give the team an immediate boost.”
After the visit of Brentford, Lampard has a baptism of fire back in the Premier League, with a trip to fellow-strugglers Newcastle on February 8 that could have a huge bearing on who is relegated at the end of the season.
The 43-year-old, Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer as a player, started his managerial career at Derby.
He led the Rams to the Championship play-off final in his only season in charge at Pride Park, which ended in defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley.
Lampard led Chelsea into the Champions League during his only full season as manager at Stamford Bridge, but was dismissed last January with the Blues languishing in ninth place in the Premier League table.