Graeme Souness has criticised Frank Lampard for his negative tactics after his Everton side were beaten 3-2 by Brentford on Sunday.
The Toffees ended the game with nine men after Jarrad Branthwaite and Solomon Rondon were both sent off, though the latter was dismissed with just minutes left on the clock. Branthwaite, on the other hand, was given his marching orders after 18 minutes – just eight minutes after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had put Everton ahead.
Everton were 2-1 up at the break, with Richarlison grabbing the second from the penalty spot, and were on top when the half-time whistle sounded. But the tables turned in the second half, with Brentford scoring twice in the space of three minutes, and Souness has criticised how former Chelsea boss Lampard for changing his tactics.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I thought they’d do well today and win today. They’ve put themselves back into a difficult situation. They can’t complain.
“Everton were doing okay. This isn’t a criticism, half-time comes, Frank sits them down and goes over how they’re going to play. They just sat three or four yards deeper because of what the manager said, there’s nothing wrong with what they’ve said. But psychologically for the players, they were on the backfoot, whereas in the first half, even with 10 men, they were more adventurous.
“During the first half, when they were down to 10 men, they were doing well. You have to say, what they said would be correct, but it plants a negative seed in the players’ heads."
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Everton could have avoided relegation with a win at Goodison Park, but the defeat means that they are just two points above the bottom three. Fortunately for Lampard, his side do have a game in hand over fellow strugglers Leeds United, who salvaged a late 1-1 draw against Brighton.
The Toffees take on Crystal Palace on Thursday before travelling to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on the final day of the season. Speaking after his side’s defeat, Lampard said: “The important thing is that we have a positive attitude to what the next few days look like going into Palace because it's in our hands.
"To be here at Goodison again, hopefully with 11 on the pitch, and go for it ourselves. We've got two more games, three more points will do it and a home game is the next one."
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