Frank Lampard insisted he wants to be the manager who helps Everton compete for Europe and trophies as he spoke about facing Richarlison for the first time since his move to Tottenham Hotspur, writes the LiverpoolEcho.
The Blues boss said neither his nor the club’s determination to improve should be in doubt as he attempts to lay the foundations for a brighter future. His comments were made in relation to those made by Richarlison after his exit in the summer.
The Brazil international – who stressed his fondness for Everton – suggested “perhaps they’re suffering with a lack of ambition nowadays”. Lampard was clear Richarlison left on good terms and that he had the utmost respect for the player. He was also adamant there is no lack of ambition in the current Goodison Park setup.
Richarlison left Everton for Spurs in a £60m deal this summer. The forward’s departure came after his talismanic role in the Blues’ escape from relegation at the end of last season, his match-winning goal against Chelsea and the equaliser in the Crystal Palace comeback both being crucial to the club’s Premier League survival. A last-minute equaliser against Leicester City was also key. His exit was also influenced by Everton’s need to complete a deal before the end of the most recent financial period as the club flirted with regulations.
In the aftermath of his sale, Richarlison told Four Four Two of his passion for Everton but also spoke of what he perceived as a lack of ambition. He said: “It’s always a tough call when you have such strong connections with your club, and that was definitely the case for me. I was happy at Everton and I’m grateful for everything I learned there. It’s a big club with a lot of history. However, perhaps they’re suffering with a lack of ambition nowadays. You know, that eagerness to win matches and trophies. I spent four years there and I could see there was still a very long way to go to achieve big things. I felt it was the right time to move on, and the club also had to make some money. It was a good deal for everyone involved. I’m delighted with this new challenge at Spurs.”
Speaking ahead of Everton’s trip to Spurs on Saturday, Lampard repeatedly praised Richarlison and suggested the comments may have sounded worse than they were intended. He also acknowledged Spurs are competing at a level Everton are not yet at.
But he insisted there was no lack of desire in what he was trying to create on Merseyside. He said: “I am certainly ambitious, I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t. We’re trying to build something. It is clear to see Tottenham are in the Champions League and we are not, in simple terms that is it. I think that is probably his point… We all wish Richy well and it’s a nice situation for a player to leave a club with a good feeling. The fans respected the work ethic and the quality he brought here. His teammates respected it and he moves on and we certainly move on.”