Frank Lampard has been sacked as manager of Everton with the club sitting second bottom of the Premier League.
The Merseysiders were beaten 2-0 by fellow strugglers West Ham United on Saturday, meaning they had lost eight of their last nine games in all competitions.
That was also been their ninth loss in 12 league matches, winning just once, leaving them with 15 points and above Southampton only on goal difference. It is the club’s lowest points tally at this stage of any Premier League season.
Saturday's match had been dubbed El Sackico after reports suggested that the losing manager would lose their job with Hammers coach David Moyes also under intense pressure after an equally dismal run of results.
But it was Moyes who came out victorious and Lampard's Everton reign is now over. He took over at Goodison Park on January 31, 2022, with the team 16th in the table, replacing Rafa Benitez who had been sacked after less than seven months in charge.
Lampard, 44, had been out of work since being sacked himself by Chelsea – where he had been manager for 18 months – a year earlier and replaced with Thomas Tuchel, who would lead the London club to Champions League glory by the season's end.
Everton finished two places and four points outside the bottom three last season and there were joyous scenes at Goodison Park when their 68-year top-flight status was confirmed for another campaign following a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory against Crystal Palace.
“It is one of the greatest moments of my footballing life and career,” Lampard said after the match. “It is a special night in Everton's history.”
But hopes that his first full season would see a change in fortunes would quickly evaporate. Star striker Richarlison was sold to Tottenham Hotspur without being adequately replaced and the team would go on to win just three of their opening 20 league matches.
Fan anger at the club ownership has boiled over in recent weeks and Everton’s board of directors were ordered to stay away from Goodison Park due to perceived security risks, meaning they missed Everton's home defeat to bottom side Southampton.
Banners were displayed around Goodison Park before kick-off while supporters then staged sit-in protest after the final whistle, but Lampard still inistsed he could turn the club's fortunes around.
“I am fortunate in the fact I have been in the game a long time and you become quite tough to these things. It becomes your life,” Lampard said. “The only thing I want to do is bring success to this club. In terms of my own abilities I always remain confident in that.”
Despite having also received the public backing of beleaguered owner Farhad Moshiri, the West Ham defeat proved the final straw.
In his 44 games as coach, Lampard won 12, drew eight and lost 24, managing a win percentage of just 27.3 and Everton are now looking for their sixth permanent manager in five years.