Farhad Moshiri returns to face ire of fans – but was this Frank Lampard’s final Everton match?

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By Mike McGrath at the London Stadium

It was the first time Farhad Moshiri had been seen at a game during Frank Lampard’s time at Everton, and as the afternoon wore on at the London Stadium it increasingly looked like he was witnessing his manager’s final match in charge.   

Moshiri, the Everton owner, had not been to a game since the end of 2021 and his presence in the West Ham directors’ box only served to highlight the predicament his team are in. They survived relegation in the final week of last season but have not progressed in the  eight months since. In fact, they have gone backwards. 

In some recent defeats they have failed to hold onto a lead but in this game they simply never got started. Jarrod Bowen’s two first-half goals came with Everton barely laying a glove on their hosts. “You’re getting sacked in the morning,” was the West Ham fans’ verdict on Lampard.

David Moyes is under pressure himself at West Ham but has offered a gentle reminder that he took the club to the Europa League semi-finals last season. In his programme notes he asked for fans to stick with the players as they have changed the perception of the club across Europe. Now they are out of the relegation places after ending a run of seven matches without a Premier League win. 

They looked in better shape than Everton, who offered very little going forward until it was too late. At the back they were weak, brushed off the ball too easily. Lampard’s only recent success was getting a point at Manchester City where they played defensively and struck on the counter-attack. In this game his team were a flat-back five, which meant they were outnumbered on the rare occasions they attacked.

Everton sit second-bottom of the league with just 15 points from 20 games Credit: Getty Images/Glyn Kirk

Often players would be on different wavelengths, their passing off target which gave them almost no chance to control the game. West Ham were hardly fluent, yet their first-half lead was deserved. 

Bowen’s first goal came from a classic flicked-on cross. Emerson Palmieri’s ball was nodded on by Kurt Zouma and Bowen stabbed in from a couple of yards out. It still required a check from the video assistant referee as Bowen’s arm looked ahead of last-defender James Tarkowski. 

The second goal came from the tenacity of Michail Antonio, who could easily have gone down under Tarkowski’s hack on the right wing. He remained on his feet and it proved a good decision as he crossed for Bowen to fire into the roof of the net.

Lampard’s game management has faced criticism during the club’s wretched run of results and he chose to make changes at half-time, with Dwight McNeil and Tom Davies’ introductions at least adding urgency as they attempted to fight back. But it was Emerson who came closest to adding to the scoring, finishing off a 50-yard dribble with a shot that struck the crossbar.   

“A board full of liars” read the banner in the away end, with Everton fans clearly pointing the finger of blame towards Moshiri and his board for their stewardship of the club in the last years. After another defeat, this time witnessed by the owner himself, it looked like there is another decision to be made.

West Ham United vs Everton: As it happened

Source: telegraph.co.uk