Frank Lampard faces reunion with Man Utd coach who begged fans not to boo him

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Frank Lampard is in danger of losing his job at Everton (Image: Getty Images)
Frank Lampard is in danger of losing his job at Everton (Image: Getty Images)

On Friday night, Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

It's always an important occasion when these two great clubs meet, yet this cup tie could be remembered as Frank Lampard's last dance in management. The Toffees boss is under severe pressure and needs a result to keep his coaching career alive.

Lampard will be welcomed to Old Trafford by United's assistant Steve McClaren, the man who asked England fans not to boo the Chelsea legend in 2007. Yet McClaren will not be able to offer his support if Everton's travelling fans vent their frustration on Friday night.

McClaren was in charge of the Three Lions when Lampard was getting a hard time from supporters 15-and-a-half years ago. The midfielder was jeered by fans after a poor performance in a friendly against Brazil at Wembley, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

In an annual report to England fans, McClaren wrote: "Unfortunately, one point I should raise is that we were all disappointed to hear Frank Lampard being booed at Wembley against Brazil. Frank is a tremendous player and he didn’t deserve that reaction."

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In fairness to England fans, their jeers were vindicated five months later when McClaren's side lost 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley and missed out on qualification for Euro 2008. The Three Lions have qualified for every major tournament since, with McClaren remembered as one of the country's worst ever managers. He was sacked the following day.

Frank Lampard faces reunion with Man Utd coach who begged fans not to boo himFrank Lampard was booed by England fans in 2007 (PA Wire)

Do you think Frank Lampard will be sacked if Everton lose to Manchester United? Let us know in the comments below!

Lampard bounced back from that disappointment to represent England at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa - a tournament remembered for his infamous "ghost goal" against Germany - and retired from international duty in 2014 with 106 caps to his name.

McClaren, meanwhile, went on to coach Nottingham Forest, Derby (twice), Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers and Twente (twice) - winning the Eredivisie title with the latter club in May 2010. He was re-appointed as United's assistant manager last summer.

Although Lampard recovered from England's dismal 2007, the chances of him rebuilding his managerial career hang in the balance. Everton have picked up just five points from their last 10 Premier League games and currently sit in the relegation zone.

The Toffees have never been relegated from the top flight during the Premier League era and their supporters will not want a spell in the Championship. A 4-1 home defeat to Brighton in their most recent outing has left Lampard on the brink.

The 44-year-old's managerial career has been a strange one. He started at Championship side Derby - a big job for a rookie manager - and almost led them to promotion during his one and only season in charge. They lost the play-off final to Aston Villa.

Lampard left Derby to succeed Maurizio Sarri as the Chelsea boss in July 2019. That appointment was met with criticism, as it's almost unheard of for a manager to get one of the biggest jobs in the country after just one season in the Championship.

Frank Lampard faces reunion with Man Utd coach who begged fans not to boo himSteve McClaren supported Lampard in 2007 but will be out to beat him on Friday night (Getty Images)

Lampard arrived at Stamford Bridge as a Chelsea legend after winning 13 trophies - including three Premier League titles - and becoming the club's record scorer during his playing days. Despite his brief CV, he did well during his first season in charge.

Lampard led Chelsea to Champions League qualification and the FA Cup final, where they lost to Arsenal. Yet he was sacked in January 2021 with the club languishing in ninth. His successor Thomas Tuchel won the Champions League during the same term.

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A year after his Chelsea exit, Lampard was offered another shot at the Premier League by Everton. Although they avoided relegation last season, the appointment hasn't worked out as hoped. The Toffees have won just 12 of their 41 games under his management.

Now, Lampard needs a result - and a performance - at Old Trafford to keep his head above the River Mersey. That's an almighty task, as Erik ten Hag's side have won four consecutive Premier League games and are desperate to win a trophy this season.

United haven't lifted silverware since their Europa League triumph in May 2017 - marking their longest drought for 40 years. Ten Hag will be aware of this and is expected to name a strong side against Everton. It's hard to imagine anything else but a United win.

But if Everton lose and Lampard is sacked, who will give him another job in the Premier League? Even if he's not sacked, a defeat to United will likely result in boos from the travelling fans. And, this time, they'll be no public show of support from McClaren.

Tom Blow

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