Frank Lampard became the latest fall guy for Everton owner Farhad Moshiri when he was sacked on Monday night, but few Toffees fans hold the former Chelsea and England midfielder responsible for their precarious position or the civil war engulfing the club.
Indeed, Lampard was well-regarded for steering Everton away from relegation last season and speaking openly to supporters about the club’s many shortcomings.
Although he was not responsible for Everton’s years of mismanagement which left him with an unbalanced and demoralized squad, it is also true that Lampard could and should have done better with his lot.
He played a rotten hand badly during nine defeats from 12 league games and while he can point to saving the Toffees and some excellent results, the stint on Merseyside has not enhanced his reputation as a manager.
The question for Lampard is where will he go next.
He has now landed two high-profile Premier League jobs and been sacked twice within 18 months. Will another top club take on a manager whose struggles in the dugout are still more relevant than his years of brilliance on the pitch?
A return to the Championship, where he did a decent job with Derby, could feel like a step down, but is exactly what Lampard needs right now.
A stable second-tier club, away from the limelight, would allow him to hone his craft and be more beneficial to his long-term prospects than taking on another high-pressure role.