Frank Lampard has been sacked as manager of Everton just a few days short of being in charge for one year and it comes as no surprise. Although he cannot be fully blamed for last seasons skin of the teeth survival given that he was only in charge for the last four months, this season has been a horror story for the former Chelsea great.
With just 15 points from their opening 20 games Everton had never previously started a season with such a poor return and his win rate for the club was just at 27%. It is true though that Lampard came across like he was working incredibly hard behind the scenes but if his tactics were as great as his words the club would be, at the very least, an established top 10 side. One has to wonder if the initial lure of taking the Chelsea job so early in his managerial career has sped up unnecessary his desire to be a top coach? He was learning his trade at Derby and perhaps should have stayed with the Championship club for a few more seasons, but of course he couldn't resist the pull of Chelsea and that led him to manage in the top flight, but at what cost in the long term?
However taking on the Everton job was a tough ask, he came into a side that has been run like a circus for the past five years and that is being kind. He didn't inherit the best of teams from Rafa Benitez but did last double the time of the Spaniard but a real blow this season was losing the services of Richarlison up front. The Brazilian wanted to leave and Everton needed the money, Lampard was never going to be able to keep him but when you replace him with Neal Maupay, then you have to admit you haven't actually replaced him. It may seem brutal to compare Maupay with Erling Haaland but the Manchester City forward has scored more goals in the league in five months than Maupay has done in 3 years.
It has to be said that Lampard has also been unlucky and has worked on a smaller budget than a lot of his rivals and he was shoring up defence in the summer window and indeed Everton started the season well enough and after a month had the best defence statistically in the Premier League. This isn't all down to Lampard that can be confirmed in the fact that he becomes the 6th managerial casualty from the last seven years. At the same time Everton fans need to be cautious to the club owner Farhad Moshiri who has spent over £500m and is helping the club to build what looks like a quite magnificent new stadium. But behind the scenes the recruitment has to be questioned and so does the scouting of players which has almost felt like a lucky dip hit and hope. Ultimately a new manager was needed because change has to happen. We have seen how Wolves and especially Aston Villa have improved with new coaches this season, and Everton need that honeymoon period to hopefully boost them up the table, it will take a brave manager to take on the task though in what is turning out to be another terrible season for the club if not a fascinating one.
Next Everton manager: Marcelo Bielsa 3.00, Sean Dyche 3.00, Marcelino 7.00, Duncan Ferguson 7.00, Wayne Rooney 11.00
Arsenal and Manchester United played out a quite fantastic game of football and it felt like it was 2000 all over again, when both clubs were at the height of their powers. Arsenal won 3-2 in a real thriller and they knew how important it was to win the game to bolster their title chances especially given United's latest form. But let's isolate two players in particular one for United in Marcus Rashford and one for Arsenal Bukayo Saka.
Rashford ended up on the losing side but he isn't a loser. His goal which opened the game has to be short listed for the goal of the season, his technique in firstly controlling the ball and then the precision of his shot was quite magnificent but Rashford has been superb this season. There was a worry for a good year that Rashford was suffering from a confidence crisis and he simply wasn't scoring the goals required but not only is he doing that he is becoming a monument at the club and that is no mean feat. With 9 league goals so far he is well on course to break his personal best of 17 achieved 3 years ago.
Bukayo Saka has to be the trickiest and fastest player Arsenal and England has and when he scores goals they are wonderful. It is incredible to think that he is only 21 and has won the Arsenal player of the season twice. With seven league goals to his name he will smash his personal best of 11 this season and his goal against a top side like United was a jaw dropping moment. The best news of all though is that Rashford and Saka are English, and one has to wonder if not hope if these two can lead England to silverware afer what would be 58 years at Euro 2024? It is interesting to see that both players are lacking trophies with their clubs, but who can expect that to last too long?