Frank Lampard sent a relegation warning to his Everton players after they were hammered 4-0 by MLS outfit Minnesota United in their latest pre-season encounter.
The Toffees ’ winless run in their pre-season tour of America continued in the early hours of Thursday morning as they were embarrassed in a humbling defeat. Emanuel Reynoso opened the scoring before summer signing James Tarkowski scored an own goal. Luis Amarilla and Abu Danladi were on hand either side of half-time to further Everton ’s humiliation.
After losing 2-0 to Arsenal in pre-season on Sunday, Lampard’s side will return back from the States to England with two defeats, six goals conceded and not a single goal scored.
Speaking on his side’s latest defeat, Lampard warned his players that they must dramatically improve – or face another relegation dogfight in 2022-23.
“The players have to work and understand we were in a relegation battle for a big portion of last season,” Lampard told Everton TV. “We had an amazing night [against Crystal Palace ] and an amazing run but, as soon as that finished, I put it to bed very quickly, so the players have to put it to bed as well, because we were in that fight for a reason.
“And if we don’t want to be in that situation again, they have to better and I have to be better.
“As a club, it [the Minnesota game] reinforced the situation in terms of what we need to do with the squad, because it has to be stronger that what we saw tonight.”
During the tie, Dele Alli’s woes in an Everton shirt continued after missing a sitter from close range during the defeat. Following a perfectly placed low cross, Alli found himself just a few yards out with an open goal ahead of him, but was unable to sort his feet out and steered wide. At the time, Everton were trailing 3-0.
Everton have made just one first-team signing this summer thus far, bringing in former Burnley defender James Tarkowski on a free transfer following the Clarets’ relegation to the Championship. Star forward Richarlison has also departed, joining Tottenham in a £60million deal.
The Toffees have two friendlies left this summer, firstly taking on Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Sunday. Everton’s final friendly of the summer will come on Friday, July 29 where they play host to Dynamo Kyiv at Goodison Park.
Everton start their new campaign on Saturday, August 6 at home to Lampard’s former side Chelsea.