The Season begins
Anyway, after all that, the new campaign kicked off in stifling August heat at Goodison Park against Chelsea.
Just hours before however, it had been revealed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin had picked up an injury in training and would miss the opener.
Then, as if the football gods were determined to do their worst, both centre-backs Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina, key players in Lampard’s three-man central defence, picked up injuries in that defeat to Chelsea. Once again, you couldn’t make it up!
After that dreadful start, the Toffees staggered through the first seven Premier League matches of the season, unable to win a game until finally beating West Ham 1-0 in mid-September, courtesy of Maupay’s only league goal of the campaign.
They weren’t conceding many goals it was true and played well in patches (particularly in the Goodison derby against Liverpool) but it was a very poor first month or so points-wise, leaving Everton already struggling for any positive momentum.
The side had a new-look defence and a mish-mash of lone strikers as Lampard tried desperately to find a formula to overcome the failures of the transfer window and the terrible luck with injuries that had afflicted him, as it did so many of his predeccessors.
Everton usually it seemed couldn’t for love or money find a way to score goals, the team was labouring badly and the football offered up at times was truly dreadful to watch. Away from home, performances were simply embarassing.
Then after an unexpected 2-1 win at Southampton, immediately following the West Ham result, the Blues went on a three-game losing streak that undermined any apparent progress, putting the team back in the relegation pack.
Perversely, that streak was then ended with a dynamic 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Goodison, which coincided with Calvert-Lewin’s recent return to the team and seemed to offer hope at last of a formula to drag the Blues away from danger.
In retrospect that was the high watermark of Lampard’s tenure, alongside the Palace win of course.
He was chopping and changing his formations and tactics as he sought to find some consistency in the team. It was though creating a sense of confusion and it also felt like he was overthinking the situation.
The Toffees then reverted to type and lost eight of his final ten games in charge, including humiliating back-to-back 4-1 and 3-0 defeats to Bournemouth, as well as damaging home losses to Wolves, Brighton and Southampton.
Those defeats to the Cherries would, with any other club, have seen Lampard dismissed having won only three Premier League games all season. And he certainly should have gone after the losses to fellow strugglers Wolves, and the Saints.
Lampard limped on though, with the owner and board unable or unwilling to make the decision and pull the trigger on yet another failed managerial appointment.
Fans were getting increasingly angry and frustrated as the team’s form and confidence was in free-fall and the club was headed yet again for another nail-biting battle to avoid the drop.
Finally, after a thirteenth defeat just halfway through the season at West Ham, they acted and Lampard was gone. Manager number six sacked by Moshiri since he took over the club in 2016.
So, who was going to be offered the poisoned chalice next?