Frank Lampard believes Conor Coady has already silenced his critics and explained why the centre-back and James Tarkowski remind him of John Terry, writes the LiverpoolEcho.
Coady joined Everton on a season-long loan in August from Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 29-year-old has already proved a huge success since signing for Frank Lampard, even captaining the club in the recent win over West Ham United.
Everton’s recruitment has been under serious scrutiny in recent years but the signing of Coady has been widely applauded from not just Blues supporters, but those in football. It has also been reported that the Blues will only have to pay £4.5 million to sign the England international next summer.
Blues boss Lampard used a back three for the first three Premier League games of his side’s season, but has switched to a back four in recent months. A three at the back system is one that many in the game believe Coady has difficulty with.
But Lampard, speaking after Everton’s 0-0 draw with Fulham on Saturday in which Coady again impressed, believes the performances of his centre-back this season have silenced those critics who claimed he can only play in a back three.
He said: “We work on that a lot. I think that is the very good thing. Conor can play in a four and he has shown that. Him and Tarky [James Tarkowski]. Tarky has done it for years to great effect.
“We work a lot on distances and we work on situations we don’t want to be in. We work on making sure we can be in the right situations. As a group, defending the box, they are so keen to work together and protect the full-back next to them.”
Everton have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League, conceding just 12 goals from their opening 13 matches. Two of the key reasons behind that have been Coady and James Tarkowski – another summer signing from Burnley.
Both defenders have quickly become Lampard’s go-to men at the back and helped stabilise the Blues’ back-line. And the Everton boss has explained why the pair remind him of former Chelsea and England captain John Terry.
“Conor is an absolute leader, they both are in their own way. I played with the best in John Terry. He was a leader who affected people around him,” he said.
“You watch replays and go back and watch how many times he got done. He was a brilliant player and that is not a direct comparison, but when working with Conor and Tarky I see similar attributes in how they approach the game.
“The smartness in their defending and their desire. So on that front they are getting the credit [they deserve]. The effect they have had on the team is loud and clear.”