We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…
Steven Gerrard is under more pressure than Frank Lampard because of the important job the Everton boss did at the end of last season says Kevin Campbell.
The Villa manager’s old teammate Jamie Carragher questioned in his Telegraph column on 2 September why his former Liverpool captain is under such pressure amid his team’s struggles while the Toffees fans love their manager despite similar win records.
Campbell, a Sky Sports pundit, feels that Lampard already proved himself by avoiding relegation despite doubts when he was appointed, while Gerrard is straining under the pressure of expectations after his Scottish title win with Rangers.
He exclusively told Goodison News: “I think Steven Gerrard’s under more pressure, I think because of what Frank Lampard did at the end of last season.
“This is really important. Everton were in the mire. He came in, there was a lot of hullabaloo saying that Frank Lampard won’t be good in a relegation battle. He kept the club up.
“Now, didn’t start this season well, but obviously the window’s closed now and you can see what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to build strong units within the team. He’s got a striker in as well. [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin’s back training.
“So there’s going to be opportunities to be able to progress the squad.
“Aston Villa were under massive pressure. Especially with Manchester City, the champions, at home. They drew the game. Potentially could have won it, I think the linesman was a bit hasty on his flag.
“Everton performed well against Liverpool in the derby. Big game, didn’t win but didn’t lose so it’s a good point.
“When you play the top teams you’re going to find out a lot about your team, and I think both of the teams stood up.
“I just think Steven Gerrard’s under a bit more pressure because because the demands that they expect of him, and what he’s done at Rangers, are on him now because of the way they’ve started. They haven’t started great, they’ve lost a few games.
“Whereas Frank Lampard, he’s starting to see a bit more consistency and stability at Goodison. They haven’t got the win yet but I think the wins coming.
“They perform like they did [last] Saturday (3 September) [against Liverpool] I think the win’s coming for sure, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next few games.”
Whatever the numbers say on paper, Lampard has gone a long way to connect to the Everton fanbase, as shown by the rousing scenes at games down the stretch last season.
That he ultimately succeeded in the vital job of keeping the club up surely gives him more leeway, especially when he has been working under financial and club-management pressures that Gerrard has very much not had.
Creditable draws last time out, which both could have been upset wins were it not for some debatable officiating, suggest that both sides might be on the up, but the hot seat is certainly warmer in the Midlands right now than it is on Merseyside.
There is more evidence that the Toffees are moving in the right direction this year, now unbeaten in four and with a squad constructed despite transfer market constraints, so things are currently looking positive for Lampard and the fans.
And it is probably no surprise that Carragher wants to know why things are apparently harmonious at Everton in light of a history of criticising the club that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the players.