Frank Lampard has got the sack after just shy of 12 months in charge of Everton, as the Premier League club face the risk of relegation.
Everton appointed Lampard as their new manager late last January, replacing Rafael Benitez. Although the former England midfielder guided them to Premier League safety, they are once again at risk of relegation this season.
Indeed, at the time of his dismissal, Everton are 19th in the Premier League table. They have won just three of their 20 top-flight matches this season, fewer than anyone else in the division.
Since the return to domestic action after the World Cup, Everton have failed to win any of their six matches. Indeed, they have suffered defeats to Wolves, Brighton, Manchester United, Southampton and West Ham, despite being able to draw with Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
Pressure has been mounting on Lampard and reports on Monday morning suggested the end was nigh in the wake of their loss to relegation rivals West Ham two days ago.
Now, Everton have relieved Lampard of his duties, multiple sources have revealed.
Lampard is leaving the club with a record of 12 wins, eight draws and 24 losses from his 44 matches in charge.
Replacing him on a temporary basis will be under-18s boss Leighton Baines and under-21s coach Paul Tait, according to reports. It remains to be seen who their permanent replacement for Lampard will be.
But the new boss will have several issues to fix, on and off the pitch.
Player altercation preceded Frank Lampard sack
Prior to Lampard getting the sack, reports began filtering through some details of just how sour the situation has turned.
According to The Times, some players were involved in a dressing-room clash with Lampard after their loss to basement side Southampton on January 14.
Among them was Abdoulaye Doucoure, who was subsequently banished from the first-team setup. The midfielder missed the West Ham game and has been training separately since the altercation.
Any new appointment will have to get everyone on side again as they fight to retain Everton’s Premier League status. They are two points adrift of safety at present.
Everton have a couple of tricky fixtures coming up, too. Next, they take on league leaders Arsenal, before a Merseyside derby against Liverpool on February 13.
As for Lampard, it remains to be seen what happens next. This was the 44-year-old’s third job in management after spells with Derby County and Chelsea beforehand.
It took him a year after his Chelsea dismissal to land the Everton job. He may have to wait again for an appropriate opportunity to emerge.