Soccer

Everton ‘dressing room bust-up’ as Lampard orders star to train alone

Everton Fans Chase Anthony Gordon

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Everton boss Frank Lampard has reportedly had a bust-up with midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure as the pressure continues to grow on the Chelsea legend at Goodison Park. The Toffees are currently sitting in the relegation zone after a disappointing string of results and there have been claims that Lampard could lose his job on Monday.

The Daily Mail have claimed that Doucoure has been sent to train on his own after a dressing room clash with Lampard following the 2-1 defeat at home to Southampton on January 14, then the midfielder was subsequently left out of the squad that lost 2-0 away to West Ham on Saturday.

Doucoure is out of contract at the end of the season and is likely to leave the Toffees on a free transfer, unless a transfer can be found this month for the 30-year-old. Doucoure was not called from the bench in the defeat to Southampton as Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana were preferred in the middle of the pitch, while Anthony Gordon came off the bench for Gueye.

After quarrelling with Lampard at Goodison following two James Ward-Prowse strikes that handed the hosts another defeat, Doucoure continue to argue with his boss at their training ground Finch Farm and as a result was banned from training with the rest of the first-team squad.

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Rather than being dropped to train with the under-21 squad, Lampard ordered Doucoure to train individually so he could not disrupt preparations for an important trip away to David Moyes’ side, as Lampard attempts to hang onto his job.

Sky Sports have claimed that the defeat to West Ham was the final straw for the Everton board, who are likely to dismiss Lampard from his job on Monday. Everton’s next game is at home to Arsenal on February 4, where a new manager could be in place to take on Mikel Arteta’s outfit.

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Lampard hinted that there were unhappy players among his squad in his press conference last week. “I had things to say because from my point of view in the position we are in, we have fight and be ready for the fight,” he said. “If the players in the dressing room are disappointed we lost then that’s good.”

After Everton’s last home defeat to Southampton, players Gordon and Yerry Mina were confronted by the angry fans that have staged protests against the board and called for wholesale changes at the club.

Former Burnley boss Sean Dyche is one of the leading contenders to take charge at Goodison if Lampard is dismissed, as he has a pedigree of keeping under-funded clubs in the Premier League before the Clarets were relegated last season after sacking the 51-year-old.

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