THE Lampard family have inflicted misery on Everton fans down the years – and the new boss at Goodison Park accepts there is some making up to do.
Frank Lampard’s first game as Toffees manager will be at home to Brentford on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round.
It was in the same competition – the 2009 final – when he hit a fine winner from outside the area for Chelsea in a 2-1 triumph over Everton.
After his 72nd-minute strike, the England midfielder danced around the corner flag in tribute to his dad, who delivered the same iconic goal celebration for West Ham in a 1980 FA Cup semi-final replay.
Lampard senior struck just 22 goals in 18 years for the Hammers – but scored a diving header for a 2-1 victory against Everton at Elland Road.
And In his first interview in the Everton hotseat, Lampard Jr allowed himself a smile when he was reminded about his family’s FA Cup history with the club.
He said: “I have got a lot of making up to do on that front – and I do apologise.
“With my dad, I had grown up hearing all the stories – and it was about the only time he scored in his career. Obviously he broke Everton fans’ hearts at the time, a long time ago.
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“I scored in the Cup final. It was one of those things as a player. I went up against Everton a lot and I had some good days and bad days.
“But I am here to absolutely represent the club and I will try and make up for those moments.”
Everton’s fans are not bothered by the history of their managers – providing they have not previously coached across Stanley Park and once referred to them as a small club.
The Lampard era will certainly be approached with more warmth than the Rafa Benitez one and the 43-year-old will be afforded more time than his predecessor.
Everton’s 20th full-time manager will bring energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the club, something which was certainly lacking in most of the recent appointments. He still has a big task ahead, though.
Lampard was interviewed for the Norwich job in November and withdrew without ever being offered the position, while he was also in the frame at Crystal Palace last summer.
He spoke to Aston Villa too before they appointed Steven Gerrard in November.
It is a shame we will have to wait until next season for the Lampard-Gerrard battle as Villa and Everton have already played each other twice in the Premier League.
The biggest change to his backroom staff is the absence of Jody Morris, who was Lampard’s No2 at Derby and Chelsea.
Lampard’s right-hand man will now be Joe Edwards, 35, who has spent the last 17 years coaching at Chelsea.
He was an assistant with Lampard at Stamford Bridge because of his knowledge of all of the players coming from the academy to the first-team.
Carlo Ancelotti’s former No2 at Bayern Munich, PSG and Real Madrid, Paul Clement, will provide the experience as first-team coach and Duncan Ferguson, having agreed to remain at the club, will be an important link between the past and the present.
Chris Jones will be a first-team coach and head of performance while Ashley Cole could also be involved having worked with the youth set-up at Chelsea.
Everton have yet to appoint a director of football and Lampard will want to work alongside a man who he can trust.
Most importantly, club owner Farhad Moshiri must try and stop his club from being such a basket case.
And that will be Lampard’s immediate aim, to try and bring a group together which has looked so fragmented and disinterested over these last few months and indeed, years.
The tipping point for Benitez was the 2-1 loss at Norwich on January 15.
Lampard said: “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.
“I will always try to be open and communicate and show the fans exactly how hard I will work – and we will do everything possible to achieve those long-term visions.”
Lampard, whose first management job at Derby was in 2018, will be big on discipline, as he was at Chelsea. Players will face massive fines for poor timekeeping.
Equally, he is a good communicator as he proved by getting the best out of a young Blues side to finish fourth in 2020 but was sacked 12 months ago.
The game against Brentford in the Cup is a free hit for Lampard.
But the big one is his first Premier League game, away to Newcastle a week today.
Defeat at St James’ Park and Lampard could find himself sucked into a relegation fight.
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