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Everton: Seamus Coleman let Lampard down v Saints

Everton were yet again on the wrong end of a result at Goodison Park today, as they welcomed the Premier League‘s rock-bottom club Southampton and allowed a half-time lead to slip away.

Having scored with just six minutes left of the first half, there was a quiet confidence that Frank Lampard would be able to sneak away with a narrow victory over a team who gave as good as they got.

However, no less than 90 seconds after the interval, James Ward-Prowse stole in behind to finish past Jordan Pickford and stun the watching Evertonians into nervous silence.

That would continue until Anthony Gordon‘s reckless foul allowed the 28-year-old a shot at goal from a dead ball. A notorious sharp-shooter from set pieces, the Saints captain made no mistake, leaving the goalkeeper rooted as he slammed in his 16th goal from a free kick in the Premier League.

With no characters to stand up for Everton when they were needed, the 2-1 scoreline would stand as the Toffees searched for a late equaliser to no avail. They had lost to a Southampton team enduring a six-game losing run in the league prior to today’s clash.

Whilst many players among the home side could be highlighted for their poor performances, Seamus Coleman stands out given his lack of attacking impetus, which duly left Lampard’s team hamstrung.

With the manager opting to continue with a 5-3-2 system, the club captain was forced to retain his place on the right flank due to Nathan Patterson’s injury.

However, it is clear that time has not been kind to the 33-year-old Irishman, who was handed a 6.5 rating for his display which saw him record just 49 touches and complete 14 of his 24 attempted passes (via Sofascore). For comparison, even Pickford touched the ball more often (58).

To outline what made Coleman so toothless today is to look towards his ball progression, having been unsuccessful in all three of his attempted dribbles, while only one of his three crosses found a team-mate.

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First up on the quiz: after what match was Rafa Benitez sacked?

It is a shame to see someone who was once such a dynamic presence for the club now neutered, and frankly a detriment to the team due to poor recruitment.

What further compounded his miserable afternoon was his defensive outlay, as he could only win three of his seven duels. He lost the ball 21 times and was substituted after 69 minutes, a damning indictment of his horrendous afternoon.

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Whilst Coleman’s individual performance will be the least of the worries for Lampard, it will frustrate him all the same as his job security could now hang by a thread, having already been under pressure even before this dismal defeat.

Today’s result could be the final nail in the coffin at Goodison Park for the 44-year-old, who is slowly transitioning from a hero of last year’s burst to survival to a villain of the present-day relegation battle.

The immediate full-time aftermath was dominated by the sit-in protest organised by various fan groups, but when the blue smoke clears and Farhad Moshiri has some time to think, he might need to act upon a manager who has not steered his team to victory since October.