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Nigel Martyn backs Frank Lampard as the best option for new manager at Everton

Soccer – FA Barclays Premiership – Aston Villa v Everton – Villa Park
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Former Everton goalkeeper Nigel Martyn believes Frank Lampard represents the best option as manager to keep the club up and plan for the future.

It is understood the former Chelsea midfielder and head coach has now moved ahead of Vitor Pereira – the former favourite before his bizarre television interview on Wednesday – with the club set for further talks.

The ex-England international, who also has experience managing Derby in the SkyBet Championship, was installed on a shortlist which included the quickly-discounted Roberto Martinez, Pereira, Fabio Cannavaro and former Toffees striker Wayne Rooney.

Frank Lampard punches the air

Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has now emerged as the frontrunner for the vacant Everton job (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

After a couple of rounds of talks the 43-year-old has emerged as the new frontrunner and Martyn believes, faced with the choices they had, he represents the realistic option for his old club who have slipped to just four points above the relegation zone after 10 defeats in 13 matches.

“I think Frank is a little bit further along having had a year in the Premier League and probably, for me, is the one who is ahead at the moment,” Martyn told the PA news agency, in an interview facilitated by www.101greatgoals.com.

“I guess the managers aren’t out there you want to be available to take Everton forward going into the next few seasons. I think it is probably a little bit too early with Wayne, although he’s had two of the better managers we have had in the Premier League of recent years which is something he will undoubtedly have learned from.

“He is doing a great job at Derby and if he manages to keep them in that division it would be an absolutely amazing achievement. But if I’m being honest Frank is a little further along in his managerial career than Wayne.

“The board and the owner are under pressure from the supporters and getting someone in not just for the short-term firefight for the next few games but going forward is important.”

Everton fans' banner protest outside Goodison Park

Everton fans staged a protest outside Goodison Park on Wednesday (Peter Byrne/PA)

Martyn believes the decision by Pereira, the former Porto and Fenerbahce coach who had previously been considered for the job in 2013 and 2019, to spend more than 20 minutes live on Sky Sports News pushing his claims having already had a couple of interviews has backfired.

However, the goalkeeper, who made 100 appearances for Everton between 2003 and 2006, understood the Portuguese’s reasons for the move after fans voiced their objections to the 53-year-old, with ‘Pereira out, Lampard in’ graffiti daubed on a wall at Goodison Park the night before.

“It’s a little bit frustrating and it is something the club doesn’t need at the moment,” he added.

“This is a vitally important decision that the club make on who they appoint. Things like yesterday don’t really help that I’m afraid.

“I can’t help thinking it is probably not a good career move. It is certainly a brave move and we will find out fairly soon whether it is foolish or not.”

Fans staged further protests at Goodison Park on Wednesday night and Martyn has some sympathy for long-suffering supporters.

Goalkeeper Nigel Martyn

Nigel Martyn understands why fans are protesting (Gareth Copley/PA)

“The fans are frustrated at what they are watching on the pitch, they are frustrated at the league position and they are frustrated at the decisions made regarding managers have proven not to be the correct ones,” he said.

“They live and breathe it, it’s their lives some people, and they have that right to have protests and show their displeasure at what they are seeing.

“The supporters are showing their displeasure at the decisions being made and the fear that builds underneath getting dragged into a real relegation fight.

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“The club always has an ear to the supporters and the protests won’t be going unheard so hopefully they are heeding what they are hearing.”

With four days remaining until the end of the transfer window Everton’s lack of a manager, director of football and head of recruitment were exacerbated with the news midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph will be out for at least a month with groin and thigh injuries respectively.

There was some good news, however, with 19-year-old forward Lewis Dobbin signing signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal.

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