Marcelo Bielsa has ALREADY held talks with Everton chief Farhad Moshiri about succeeding Frank Lampard and wants to know their January transfer strategy – with the ex-Leeds boss the club’s No 1 choice
Marcelo Bielsa is Everton’s top choice to save them from relegation after Frank Lampard was finally sacked as manager.
Lampard was relieved of his duties at 3pm on Monday after 357 days in charge. He leaves Everton 19th in the Premier League having made their worst ever start to a season, with 15 points from 20 league games.
Bielsa, who left Leeds last season having worked wonders to re-establish them as a Premier League club, has held talks with Everton’s owner Farhad Moshiri and wants to know about their transfer strategy a week before the window closes.
Former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is Everton’s first choice to succeed Frank Lampard
Toffees majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri (left) has already held talks with the 67-year-old
Everton officials know what is riding on this appointment and they believe that appointing a manager with Bielsa’s reputation — and his high-energy, attacking style — could galvanise them with half the season still to play.
It was a challenging day for Everton and the phone call that Moshiri made to Lampard was difficult for both men.
The 44-year-old was devastated, having put his heart and soul into the job, but understood the reasons after losing eight of his last nine matches in charge.
Everton fans have protested against the board in recent matches following a frustrating period
Sean Dyche (L) and Sam Allardyce (R) have also been linked with the new managerial vacancy
Lampard’s coaching staff of Joe Edwards, Chris Jones, Paul Clement and Ashley Cole also left with immediate effect.
It took five hours after Moshiri’s call for Everton to publicly say they had changed manager for the seventh time in the last seven years.
‘Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their service during what has been a challenging 12 months,’ a club statement read.
The Englishman was sacked as Everton manager after Saturday’s dismal defeat at West Ham
Lampard led Everton through their worst ever start to a season, with 15 points from 20 games
Odds to be named the next Everton manager
Sean Dyche – 3/2
Marcelo Bielsa – 3/1
David Moyes – 4/1
Wayne Rooney – 6/1
Nuno Espirito Santo – 8/1
Duncan Ferguson – 12/1
Sam Allardyce – 14/1
‘Frank and his team’s commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken. We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game.
‘The club have started the process to secure a new manager and will provide updates on the appointment in due course.’
Moshiri had known that a situation like this was approaching and had started to make plans for this eventuality.
It is understood the Iranian contacted Sam Allardyce, who managed Everton for 167 days in the 2017-18 season, as he began to draw up possibilities but the pair never met.
There was a reluctance to go down the route of appointing the 68-year-old, in the same way that there isn’t an appetite to go for Sean Dyche, who remains a prominent figure in bookmakers’ lists. Dyche, 51, is available immediately, having not worked since leaving Burnley in April last year.
Prior to that, there was an ambitious attempt to see if former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino would have been interested in the post — a call was made during the World Cup in November — but Bielsa is now the leading candidate, with West Bromwich’s Carlos Corberan a dark horse.
Until a decision is made, youth coaches Leighton Baines — who played for the club between 2007 and 2020 — and Paul Tait will take training.
Toffees legend Leighton Baines (above) and fellow youth coach Paul Tait will now take training
CHRIS SUTTON: LACK OF LETHAL STRIKER MAY COST EVERTON
If YOU are near the bottom of the Premier League, one non-negotiable for survival is you need a goalscorer.
For relegation candidates, it could come down to who outscores who. They’d all love a goal guarantor like Erling Haaland, whose 25 goals for Manchester City are more than the hauls of nine Premier League clubs. In lieu of that, they need their strikers to stand up.
The pressure is high. I’ve been there myself, when Blackburn tried and failed to survive in 1998-99. This is where heroes are made. West Ham have Danny Ings, Wolves have brought in Matheus Cunha, Leeds have Patrick Bamford returning while Nottingham Forest have taken a punt on Chris Wood on loan.
I worry for Bournemouth, Southampton and Everton. I don’t see prolific Premier League scorers at any of those sides, and that’s a big problem. That includes Dominic Calvert-Lewin who, amid injuries, has fallen off.
Everton’s new manager will need to try to fix that and fast — or look for someone who can do what he wants. As the January transfer window reaches its final week, I know which position on the pitch I’d be wanting to boost for the second half of the season.