Frank Lampard may not be able to lift Everton out of the relegation zone, despite the Toffees’ January move and signing of the ex-Chelsea manager.
Everton is one of only six Premier League teams who have never been relegated – but might this be the year?
Frank Lampard’s side suffered their fourth consecutive league defeat in a 1-0 home setback to Wolves on Sunday, adding to the Toffees’ relegation worries.
Their suffering was made worse by the fact that relegation rivals Leeds United and Watford also won crucial games.
Everton, who are now in 17th place, are now above of the bottom three on goal difference, as the pressure mounts at Goodison Park.
So, who were the big winners at the bottom of the table, and how bad is Everton’s situation?
There has been no advancement so far.
Everton have only won one of their six Premier League games since Frank Lampard took over for the dismissed Rafael Benitez in late January, with the other five being losses.
They haven’t scored in their current four-match losing streak, with the loss to Wolves coming following a 5-0 thumping by Tottenham on Monday, and they now have their lowest ever point total after 26 games in the tournament.
Some home fans booed the players off the field, and Jonjoe Kenny’s red card added to the club’s bad luck.
The Toffees have as much as three games in hand on the teams around them, however on present form, there is no certainty that they will be converted into points.
“Their goal affected the game because it made us worried,” Lampard explained to BBC Sport. “We have to keep our heads up, and the most important thing right now is to stay optimistic.”
The former Chelsea manager went on to say: “We were on a poor streak when we walked into a club. You become accustomed to losing games, and this isn’t something that can be reversed overnight. We need to stick together. There are numerous games in which we might get the points we require.”
Sky Sports quoted him as saying: “We believe in ourselves, but it’s difficult right now. We have to find a way to turn the corner. We want to stay in the Premier League, but first and foremost, we must continue to battle for it.”
Elland Road’s’magic’ is praised by Marsch, and Watford’s survival hopes are boosted
At Elland Road, the scenes were rather different, as Leeds United struck an injury-time winner to clinch their first win under manager Jesse Marsch.
Joe Gelhardt, a 19-year-old substitute who played for less than two minutes, enthralled the home fans as the hosts overcame bottom-placed Norwich City to move four points clear of the relegation zone.
“Obviously, the game has a lot of emotions. I’d heard a lot about Elland Road’s mystique, and we definitely felt it today “Leeds manager Marsch stated.
“The crowd was incredible, and the performance enthralled them,” Marsch said. “For everything, we must struggle. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Norwich sit five points away of safety after the setback, which left manager Dean Smith “frustrated” and “disappointed.” The Canaries have nine games remaining.
Watford’s survival prospects were strengthened by a 2-1 win over Southampton, which lifted the Hornets above Burnley, who were defeated 2-0 by Brentford on Saturday.
Despite the win, Watford remains in the relegation zone, in 18th place, but they are level on points with Everton, and Leeds are still in sight.
Brentford’s second consecutive victory placed the Bees farther away of trouble, but Burnley’s hopes of escaping relegation were harmed.
Sean Dyche’s side are one point behind of Everton, having played one game more.
Despite being in 14th place, a point ahead of Brentford and nine points clear of the bottom three, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe feels his side is still in the mix after Chelsea halted an eight-game undefeated run.
Everton is struggling to avoid relegation
Following Lampard’s appointment in January, Everton purchased Dele Alli from Tottenham for a fee that might reach £40 million, as well as Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek on loan.
However, their recent signings have not yet resulted in a change in fortunes.
Former Everton player Steven Pienaar commented on BBC Radio 5 Live: “There are so many players with a lot of quality, but I think Everton have bought players only to buy players.”
He continued, ” “It’s difficult to understand how they got to where they are with so many talented players. The sight of them fighting at the bottom of the table is disturbing.
“It’ll be very difficult [for them to stay up] if they play like they did against Spurs.”
Everton still has a difficult run-in ahead of them, facing five of the Premier League’s current top six teams in their final 12 games.
Everton defender Mason Holgate said there was “no hiding place” for his teammates after the defeat to Wolves, adding: “It’s time to take charge.”
“Nobody wants to get relegated, no matter what team they’re with or how long they’ve been there. We shouldn’t be anywhere near here with the team we have, but we are, and we must deal with it.”