Rio Ferdinand has speculated about the feelings of former Everton manager Frank Lampard following their shock 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal on February 4. This was the Toffees’ first match since Lampard was sacked, and they were boosted by the arrival of Sean Dyche as his successor.
James Tarkowski, who joined the club from Dyche’s former team, Burnley, scored the decisive goal at Goodison Park to lift Everton out of the relegation zone.
Ferdinand speculated that Lampard might have been pondering the potential of the team he had seen on the pitch at Goodison Park. Speaking after the game, the former Manchester United defender said (via Express):
“Frank Lampard I’m sure will be sitting at home wondering ‘Where was this when I was here?’, in the last few weeks of his tenure? You’ve got to give Sean Dyche and his coaching staff the credit.”
“These fans, the atmosphere they’ve created in here was phenomenal today, and the players had to really start that with the performance – the high intensity, the pressing, the aggression.”
Lampard will indeed be surprised at the Toffees’ outing. The performance levels against Arsenal were far greater than what he’d seen during the latter stages of his tenure. Everton executed their game plan perfectly and kept the Gunners in check, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford rarely having to intervene.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure had promising chances to find the back of the net. However, it was Tarkowski who sealed the win with his first goal for the club.
Rio Ferdinand praises Everton’s style of play against Arsenal
The Manchester United legend had only words of praise for Sean Dyche’s side as they beat the Gunners unexpectedly to secure three points.
He stated (via Express):
“They asked Arsenal them questions – can you deal with pressure? Can you deal with a fight? Can you deal with aggression? Can you deal with people leaving bits on you in individual battles and duels?”
“The Arsenal team today, they didn’t come here today and they didn’t live up to that, so they got their just rewards in that sense, but this is all down to hard work and graft. You look at these players out there now celebrating with the fans, there’s a connection again that you need if you want to survive in this league.”
This was Arsenal’s only second Premier League defeat of the season. They still hold a five-point lead at the top of the table over Manchester City.