Frank Lampard told he’s done no more than Rafa Benitez at Everton despite avoiding drop

Lampard speaks after Everton secure survival

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Everton ensured their place in next season’s Premier League after a 3-2 comeback victory over Crystal Palace, but Simon Jordan believes that Frank Lampard has not done anything that his predecessor Rafa Benitez would not have.

Lampard’s side were 2-0 down at half-time on Thursday against Crystal Palace, but three second-half goals from Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin rescued all three points and saw Everton avoid the drop.

The former Chelsea midfielder replaced Benitez in January after the Spaniard spent just six months in charge at Goodison Park, following a 2-1 defeat to Norwich that left Everton 15th in the table. Lampard took over and after spending time in the bottom three, guided them clear of relegation. However, former Crystal Palace owner Jordan believes that Benitez would have achieved the same feat.

He told talkSPORT: “He [Lampard] picked them up where they are now and left them at the end of the season where he picked them up from. You could say that the decline was becoming deeper and arrested the decline, or you could say that he simply did what was already there, which was to maintain the status quo.

“Benitez’s dismissal was not just based upon footballing results, it was based upon a backdrop of the fans waiting for an opportunity to turn on Rafa Benitez because they did not want him there in the first place.

“Benitez as a football manager has a far more compelling track record based upon experience and achievement than Frank Lampard, so you would have probably wagered that at some point Benitez would have righted the wrongs. I know that it was a dreadful result against Norwich that started the end for him, and Frank was brought in off the back of that but I don’t necessarily think that Frank has done anything more than Rafa Benitez would have done, but he has done it.”

Everton’s victory over the club Jordan used to own was celebrated by a pitch invasion at Goodison Park, following Calvert-Lewin’s winning goal. The scenes were primarily of joy but Patrick Vieira kicked an Everton fan after being sworn at and goaded by a fan in unsavoury full-time scenes. Lampard defended Everton fans’ behaviour but sympathises with his opposite number after the incident.

Lampard said: “I feel for Patrick because I didn’t get him at the end because of how it all erupted for us. “I would have said: ‘Come in with us’ (into the Everton dressing-room area rather than the Crystal Palace area on the other side of the pitch).

“They might not have wanted that but I’d have said: ‘Come in with us’. I know how managers feel and I get that. And, of course, he’s running across the pitch of 80 yards of our fans coming on. It’s not easy.”

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