Ian Wright and Alan Shearer agree on Everton's No 1 problem as Frank Lampard faces sack after Brighton loss

Everton are once more facing up to the harsh reality of a another relegation battle after they were walloped 4-1 by Brighton at Goodison Park last night
Frank Lampard, manager of Everton, reacts during the Premier League loss against BrightonFrank Lampard, manager of Everton, reacts during the Premier League loss against Brighton
Frank Lampard, manager of Everton, reacts during the Premier League loss against Brighton

Everton were second best to an impressive Brighton outfit and a catastrophic seven-minute spell at the start of the second half in which they conceded three goals to Evan Ferguson, Solly March and Pascal Gross to add to Kaoru Mitoma’s early first-half strike did the damage.

Demarai Gray’s added-time penalty consolation merely prompted yet more chants of ‘sack the board’. Lampard, who did not emerge from the dressing room area for his media interviews until more than 45 minutes after the final whistle, was asked whether he feared for his job after just one win and seven defeats in the last 10 Premier League matches.

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Owner Farhad Moshiri has sacked five managers in almost seven years since becoming the majority shareholder and Lampard now has a win ratio lower than the man he replaced, the unpopular Rafael Benitez, as he approaches his first-year anniversary. Many inside and outside of Goodison feel Lampard is not solely to blame and have directed their ire at the board.

“We’ve not heard from Moshiri for a long time,” Ian Wright said after the match on Premier League Productions. “He needs to come out and explain this. It seems like it’s going nowhere. It seems very fragile. They’ve had eight managers in nine years. Surely that’s not the problem

Alan Shearer took his criticism of the club much further and described them as a mess. Shearer said: “It’s going to be tough whoever goes in there. Frank is the eighth manager in nine years – permanent manager as well as a couple of caretaker stints. That shows you it’s a mess of a football club from top to bottom.

“Can eight managers in nine years all be wrong? I get in previous years they’ve spent and wasted an absolute fortune but who has been buying those players? Who has thought it’s a good idea to splash the cash on some bang-average players for ridiculous amounts of money? I don’t think it’s too harsh of a word, there has been some unbelievable amount of money wasted. Now they’re paying the price and it looks like there is hardly any available.”

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Under-fire Lampard added: “Since I’ve been here we’ve been in this situation of fighting relegation,” he said. “It’s not a case of fear, I can’t control the talk or the decision when you are around this area of the table. When you lose a game like this I absolutely understand any reaction. I am very confident in myself and will work to turn it around. The only concern you can have is the work you do the next day. I arrived in a relegation battle and you have to focus on going again.”

On his players being booed, he added: “It’s difficult, you have to understand human nature at that time. It is what it is.”