Dyche, Bielsa, Rooney: Five contenders to replace Lampard as Everton manager

The Toffees currently languish in 19th place in the Premier League – off the bottom on goal difference alone

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Frank Lampard was sacked as Everton manager on Monday after less than a year in charge at the struggling Premier League club.

The Toffees currently languish in 19th place in the Premier League – off the bottom on goal difference alone.

Here is a look at five potential replacements for Lampard at Goodison Park.

Former Burnley manager Sean Dyche. PA

Sean Dyche

It's no surprise to see the former Burnley manager emerge as the early favourite to take over the reigns at struggling Everton.

Dyche twice guided unfancied Burnley to the Premier League and established them as a Premier League force before their relegation in 2022. Much of that can be attributed to a transfer strategy implemented by new owners that stripped Dyche of his best assets.

The 51-year-old Englishman has been out of work since being sacked by the Clarets in April 2022 and has discussed the importance of waiting for the right offer before returning to football. And while taking over a team shorn of confidence, a cutting edge up front and a frail defence is not many coach's idea of fun, the role seems tailor-made for Dyche's organisational qualities.

Former Everton assistant coach Duncan Ferguson. Reuters

Duncan Ferguson

A club legend who would undoubtedly be welcomed by Everton fans with open arms.

The 51-year-old former Toffees striker left the club last summer after serving as assistant manager to Lampard in a season which Everton only narrowly avoided relegation.

Ferguson has had two caretaker spells in charge of the first team following the sackings of Marco Silva in 2019 and Rafa Benitez in January 2022.

In his first spell, Ferguson went unbeaten in three league matches, winning one and drawing two but suffered a defeat to Aston Villa during his one match in charge in a second spell between Benitez's sacking and Lampard's appointment in January 2022.

The Scot is desperate to prove his managerial credentials. His love for the club runs deep and his appointment would go someway to placating disgruntled Everton fans.

Former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa. PA

Marcelo Bielsa

The Argentine is revered in coaching circles, counting luminaries such as Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino among his many admirers.

But his last coaching assignment at Leeds United ended badly, with the 67-year-old sacked in February 2022 following a disastrous run of form that culminated in a 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

That shouldn't mask Bielsa's other achievements at Elland Road; he ended the Whites' 16-year wait for a return to the Premier League and their commitment to attacking, attractive football made them something of a neutral's favourite.

The former Argentina national team coach has reportedly already been approached by Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri about replacing Lampard. Whether he would want to is another matter.

West Ham United manager David Moyes. AFP

David Moyes

It would be ironic if the man who ended Lampard's time in charge at Everton ended up replacing him in the Goodison dugout.

Moyes' own position at West Ham was under scrutiny before Saturday's 2-0 win over Everton after a run of five straight defeats at one draw.

The win seems to have made Moyes' post at the London Stadium secure for now at least, but should that change, a move by the underfire Everton ownership for their former boss would make sense.

During Moyes' first spell on Merseyside, he guided Everton to Champions League qualification – although the Blues failed to qualify for the group stages – after he guided them to a fourth-placed finish in the 2004/05 season.

He left in 2013 after nine years in charge, anointed as Alex Ferguson's successor at Manchester United. A six-year contract at Old Trafford was terminated after less than a year, followed by a succession of underwhelming stints in charge of Real Sociedad and Sunderland as well as an initial first spell at West Ham.

But the 59-year-old has largely rehabilitated his reputation since his reappointment with the Hammers in 2019, guiding the East London club to the Europa League in 2019 after winning 19 league games – a club record – to finish sixth.

DC United head coach Wayne Rooney. Getty Images

Wayne Rooney

A return to the club where it all began for Rooney certainly has a good ring to it – and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and Moshiri could certainly do with some good chimes right now.

Rooney burst on to the scene as a bulldozing forward in 2002 and scored a spectacular goal to end Arsenal's 30-match unbeaten run five days shy of his 17th birthday.

He would go on to become Manchester United and England's record goalscorer before returning for a second spell as an Everton player in 2018.

Since then he has turned his hand to management, cutting his teeth at Derby County in 2020. Though he was unable to prevent the Rams' relegation from the second tier last year - largely due to a 21-point deduction for off-field issues - Rooney won plaudits for his ability to cajole morale and keep a threadbare squad at least competitive.

Rooney, 37, is currently in charge of DC United, the MLS club where he ended his playing career. A return to Goodison has always seemed destined. It may come around sooner than he thinks.

Updated: January 24, 2023, 8:40 AM
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