YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO LAMPARDIA!
Nobody was expecting Frank Lampard to conduct his first interview as manager of Everton atop an overturned blue bucket and with a copy of Inverting the Pyramid tucked neatly under his arm. But many a Blue Nose was left scratching the their heads on Monday afternoon at the Hollyoaks-soaked introduction, as well as what actual tactics Lamps might use to dig the Toffees out of the almighty mess they are in: four points off the relegation zone in 16th place, with over half a billion notes of Moshiri’s moolah down the pan.
Instead, Lamps put on a clinic in “heart”, “fight” and “ambition” and much like Augustus Gloop and Ferenc Puskás, insisted he was “hungry” to get started. In fact, the word “passion” was mentioned 10 times in the first three and a half minutes of said interview, at an average of once every 21 seconds – a little glimpse into the half-time team talks to come. Lampard was probably a little lucky to get the Chelsea job in 2019 and a tad unlucky to lose it just over a year ago. But as the appointment of Tactics Tommy [Tuchel] has shown, a little bit more Double Pivot and a little less “desire” had quite the effect at Chelsea.
Some people have questioned Lampardia, what it all means, and where it came from and where it might take us. Was his early success at Derby because he galvanised a bunch of underachievers to a Championship play-off berth, via a gegenpress and triple overlap the likes of which had never been seen in the second tier, or more to do with the fact that he passioned Chelsea loanees Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori to within an inch of their lives, into a division that was well beneath them? The jury remains out.
But fear not, now he’s back in the managerial saddle, Lamps is talking tough again. “After speaking to the owner, chairman and the board, I very much felt their passion and ambition,” Frank Lamparded. “I hope they felt my ambition and how hard I want to work to bring it together. You can feel the passion Everton fans have for their club. 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.
“I keep saying the words passion [you’re not wrong, pal!] and fight and I think it related to Everton Football Club,” he unfortunately continued. “It’s probably how I tried to build my own career as a player.” That’s all very well, Frank, but on top of your Work Ethic™, you also happened to have one of the best right foots in the business, a couple of lungs the size of Dixie Dean’s shorts and an unerring ability to be in the right place at the right time. I’m not sure the same can be said of Cenk Tosun and co, but there’s still time to prove The Fiver wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It has been a while since I last coached him, and a lot has happened since then … he hasn’t trained with a team for seven months but has done a lot of work on his own. He is fit but we will need to get him match fit and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level” – in one of the more remarkable transfer stories of this window, Thomas Frank confirms Brentford have signed Christian Eriksen, who has not played since his cardiac arrest at the Euros.
If like The Fiver you thought Cryptocurrency and NFTs was an album from the late 1990s, you will probably find this Football Weekly explainer on football’s relationship with digital dosh very handy.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
A man in his 20s has been arrested on suspicion of rape and assault, police have said, after Manchester United suspended the footballer Mason Greenwood.
Rayo Vallecano have defended their decision to hire disgraced coach Carlos Santiso to take charge of their women’s team, despite being aware of a leaked recording in which he encourages his staff to find a girl to gang-rape to help team bonding.
Mo Salah helped to drive Egypt past Morocco and into an Afcon semi-final against hosts Cameroon, while Cheikhou Kouyaté made an instant impact against Equatorial Guinea as Senegal booked a last-four date with Burkina Faso.
Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek may well be Everton players by the time you read this bob.
Julián Álvarez will become the latest striker to be left out of the Manchester City side in favour of five dazzling talented No 10s, but not until next season.
Lee Johnson has been marched through the Sunderland door marked Do One after a 6-0 pumping at Bolton. Plain Old John Terry is linked with the vacancy. Yikes!
Canada look set for the Human Rights World Cup, a first since 1986, after beating USA! USA!! USA!!! 2-0 in Hamilton. “I genuinely believe that these men know they have an opportunity to leave a proper football legacy moving forward,” roared coach John Herdman.
Karna Solskjær, the teenage daughter of Ole, stole the spotlight as she made her Manchester United debut in the 2-0 Women’s FA Cup win over Bridgwater United.
Burnley plan to get it launched to 6ft 6in Wout Weghorst after their done deal with Wolfsburg for the Dutch striker. “We wish Wout well as he earns the right to push our group forwards,” growled Sean Dyche.
And Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s proposed loan move to Barcelona has broken down over money, but hopefully he enjoyed the ‘family trip’ to Catalonia.
Just a Sunday league goalkeeper with a last-minute overhead-kick equaliser.
STILL WANT MORE?
Andy Hunter roots through Frank Lampard’s overflowing in-tray at Frank Lampard’s Everton, while Jacob Steinberg suggests Frank Lampard needs to learn from his mistakes at Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Tottenham’s travails are all part of the emptiness of the transfer window, writes Barry Glendenning.
The curious, doomed fable of Ousmane Dembélé and Barcelona is recanted by Sid Lowe.
John Terry: captain, leader, legend … and head coach of Ape Kids Club FC. Some digital Barney Ronay gold for you here.
Look back on every deal that has gone through in Europe’s top, top, top leagues in our men’s transfer window with our whizzy interactive.
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