Frank Lampard says taking charge of Everton is a “huge honour” – and the Club’s new boss is promising to deliver an “exciting and aggressive” team in the image of its passionate supporters.
Everton confirmed the appointment of Premier League great Lampard on Monday after what the former Chelsea player and manager called “a meticulous process”, overseen by an “ambitious owner and Chairman and Board”.
Lampard, who is joined at Goodison Park by new First-Team Coach Paul Clement, is prioritising a short-term uplift to manoeuvre Everton away from the Premier League’s lower reaches. The 43-year-old is mindful of Everton’s broader vision, nonetheless.
A veteran of countless ding-dongs with the Club from an extraordinarily decorated playing career, Lampard recognises Everton’s size and tradition and potential.
All those assets, he insists, need reflecting in style and results on the pitch, feeding into the overarching aim of routinely competing at the business end of the domestic and European game.
“It is a huge honour for me to represent and manage a club of Everton’s size and tradition and I am very excited,” Lampard told evertontv.
“I always had a great feeling when I played against Everton.
“There are certain clubs in England that when you go into the stadium, you can feel the passion the fans have for their team.
“It is very intense
“I found it difficult when it was against me and I am very much looking forward to representing that on their [supporters’] side. I will bring the same passion they give when they watch their team.
“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 knew I had to work overly hard [as a player] to try to be the best I could. I’m the same as a manager and I want to see that in my team.
“Beyond that, you need the qualities to play good football. I want to see a team that are confident in possession, that can control games with possession, and be very exciting to watch at the top end of the pitch.
“We need to be a team that’s very active… crossing and getting shots on goal and staying in the other half of the pitch. When you don’t have the ball, you must be aggressive.
“And management is not just the tactical side – it’s how you make the squad and individuals feel. I will try to be myself, very personable and close to the players, and set up a team to play good football and win games.”
Lampard, the 20th man to manage Everton on a full-time basis, was appointed following a robust and thorough recruitment process over the past fortnight.
He will oversee his first game when the Club emerges from a winter break to tackle Brentford in an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Goodison on Saturday.
Next up is a visit to Newcastle United on Tuesday 8 February and the beginning of a drive to improve on 16th-place Everton’s current Premier League position.
“The talks with the owner and Chairman and Board were very positive and their passion and ambition shone through,” said Lampard, who hired former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich assistant boss Clement for his “wealth of experience and top-class coaching skills”.
“You expect a meticulous process with a club the size of Everton and I hope they felt my ambition and how hard I want to work to bring it together.
“I will do the job with all my heart and passion.
“The backing and open communication from the owner and Chairman and Board is a big deal.
“The most important thing to focus on is the short-term.
“We know the new stadium is coming and where this club wants to be but, first and foremost, there are challenges in front of us right now.
“The league position – and an FA Cup game at the weekend.
“I want to get to work very quickly on that, to deal with the short-term.
“And, of course, in the back of our minds is the long-term vision of the Club.
“I am very open with the way I work.
“That runs deeper and further than the owner and board and myself.
“It runs through staff and players and, first and foremost, the fans, because they are the football club.
“I will always try to be open and communicate and show the fans exactly how I hard I will work – and we will do everything possible to achieve those long-term visions.”
Lampard insists he is inheriting a “good bunch of players” with “more than enough talent to move up the table”.
Underlining that faith in his squad, says Lampard, will form a key element of the messaging in initial meetings and training sessions.
On the potential for adding to his playing group before the winter transfer window closes at midnight on Monday, Lampard said: “We are considering that. When you look at the squad, we have some areas where there are injuries.
“I want to make a positive impact and if bringing in players helps that, then we’ll try to do it in a very joined-up way.
“In terms of my idea on the squad, I’ve seen things from the outside that will be my priorities to try to improve – firstly, to get results, but also to try to improve confidence and the way we play and to engage with the fans.”
Lampard is counting down to his first date in the home Goodison dugout, then. And that Cup clash with Brentford is followed seven days later by a league visit from Leeds United.
“When I came to Goodison as a player, there was a feeling the crowd was on top of you, you could feel them and hear every single word,” added Lampard.
“The passion and support of the crowd can swing a game. With the competitive level of the Premier League and our position in the table, we certainly need that.
“It’ is a two-way thing. The players need to show that passion on the pitch – they have to show the same passion as every fan who shows up to watch the game.
“That’ll be my first job and my first message to the players: that we have to do this together. This can’t be done without the support both ways. We’ll try to do our job and I know the fans will be there backing us.”