Frank Lampard is a man under serious pressure at Everton as his side lost 3-0 to Bournemouth on Saturday to leave the Toffees languishing above the relegation zone in the Premier League.
After a brief run of strong form earlier in the season, it seemed possible that Lampard’s side could avoid another relegation battle this season, after narrowly missing out on a place in the bottom three in the 2021/22 campaign.
If Everton are going to turn things around after Christmas when the Premier League resumes, they will be heavily reliant on the centre-back partnership of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski.
The two English defenders made the move to Goodison Park in the summer, with Farhad Moshiri signing them on loan and on a free transfer respectively. The Toffees owner has spent recklessly in recent years and it’s rather typical that two of his cheapest acquisitions have proven some of the best.
Indeed, they have helped to stabilise a disappointing backline that shipped 66 goals in the top flight last term.
Although they have been suspect at the back in recent fixtures, only five teams in the Premier League have kept more clean sheets this term, which emphasises the impact Coady and Tarkowski have had.
Journalist Paul Brown was full of praise for the impact that the duo have had in the dressing room at Goodison Park in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT.
He said: “There are a lot of Everton fans I’ve seen who already want Frank Lampard out and are impatient with things.
“I think they are still in a minority really, probably quite a small minority. There are a lot of issues, I think. You have to remember that last season Everton almost went down, and the club’s priority this summer was obviously to get their defence sorted.
“Lampard’s done a pretty good job of that by getting in two experienced centre-backs, who have completely transformed the dressing room and are producing on the pitch.”
Given that Tarkowski is ranked as the second-best performer in Everton’s squad this season according to WhoScored, and Coady the 13th-best, it’s easy to see why they are so vital. In terms of in-depth numbers, the impact they’ve had is seismic with the former winning the most aerial duels (3) per game in the entire squad as well as the second-highest number of interceptions (1.6).
As for Coady, only two other players – Yerry Mina and Idrissa Gueye – have a better pass success rate than the Englan defender’s 85.3%.
The former Chelsea boss has endured a mixed spell in Merseyside but he has two lieutenants in the dressing room there who he is going to need to keep performing if he wants to stay at Goodison. It was brilliant business by Moshiri and Kevin Thelwell to bring them in, they just have to stay consistent.