Everton line up Lampard replacement but face unexpected rival for No.1 choice

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Everton line up Lampard replacement but face unexpected rival for No.1 choice
Everton line up Lampard replacement but face unexpected rival for No.1 choice

Struggling Everton and Southampton are eyeing moves for former Burnley boss Sean Dyche if they decide to make a change.

Dyche, who was sacked by the Clarets after nine-and-a-half years in charge despite performing miracles at Turf Moor, has been waiting for a Premier League club to entice him back to the front line. That opportunity could be approaching, with Frank Lampard at Everton and Nathan Jones, who only took over at St Mary’s in November from Ralph Hasenhuttl, under severe pressure.

Ironically, the two relegation-threatened clubs meet at Goodison Park on Saturday 14 January – a must-win fixture for both managers, if they last that long. Dyche, who constantly had Burnley punching above their weight, has admirers in both boardrooms and the fact that he is immediately available is a huge advantage.

Lampard’s future was left in doubt following last week’s humiliating 4-1 home defeat by Brighton. Meanwhile, after four straight league defeats since being brought to the south coast, Jones is already under fire from disillusioned Saints fans.

It’s also believed that he has yet to convince many of his players that he is the man to take the club forward, leading to questions being asked at boardroom level. Successful in two spells at Luton Town the poor results with Southampton are bringing back memories of his nightmare 10 months at Championship side Stoke City, which culminated in the sack.

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Can Frank Lampard and Nathan Jones turn things around at Everton and Southampton respectively? Have your say in the comments!

Everton line up Lampard replacement but face unexpected rival for No.1 choiceFrank Lampard is teetering on the edge at Everton after a run of dire form (Offside via Getty Images)
Everton line up Lampard replacement but face unexpected rival for No.1 choiceSean Dyche has been waiting for a chance to return to the Premier League (Getty Images)

Dyche has hard-nosed experience of fighting relegation which could shortly be called upon, with the clock ticking for Lampard and Jones. Speaking after his side were beaten 3-1 in the FA Cup third round on Friday night, Lampard insisted the scoreline was not reflective of the match.

"I think so," Lampard told ITV Sport when asked if Everton deserved more at Old Trafford. "The players were very, very good, in the sense of the organisation, the game plan, the work ethic, the togetherness - things that should be basic in football, but people question them when you have a performance and a result like we did the other night [against Brighton].

"We were really good, we had the better chances, I think, but I need to analyse the game again. There were some good chances for us and the goal disallowed. Marcus Rashford was probably a bit of the difference between the teams, because top, individual talent can do that to you."

John Richardson

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