Frank Lampard has introduced a fines system and player leadership group at Everton to maintain standards that he believes will help the team to progress. The Everton manager had a fines system at his previous club, Chelsea, that included a £20,000 punishment for being late for training and £10,000 for not reporting an illness or injury before a day off, but did not implement it at Goodison Park last season as the team fought relegation.
It has come into effect this season, however, and Lampard insists his players are happy with the extra discipline. The 44-year-old, who indicated the fines are not as heavy as they were at Chelsea, said: “When I went to Chelsea the feeling was that maybe discipline had not been spot on – that was from the players by the way, not my view, so we brought that in. It raised a few eyebrows because of the numbers and in the second year at Chelsea I came off that a little bit.
“Then you come into Everton. It didn’t feel a priority last year to go: ‘You are fined if you are late.’ The priority was: ‘Can we get three points this weekend?’ Now we have got more time this season and the group is set up, my feeling is they like some sort of policing of the standards and I think it can help if done right.
“The players are fully involved in it so they are happy with the levels – we are not killing them with the levels! – but it is good to have something in place to make sure we stay on point. We speak to the players a lot about the balance of confidence, progression and complacency. It is a very fine line and I think the right fines system can help keep that balance.”
Lampard, whose team travel to Newcastle on Wednesday following two successive defeats, has also created a player leadership group to enforce standards and address any dressing-room issues at source.
“I don’t want to say who is in it because I don’t want to make people feel bad that they are not or for it to become public and become an issue,” he said. “You can probably guess some of them, to be fair. We brought it in at the end of last season at a critical time when we were trying to find ways to stay in the league. There are good pros in it and a bit of balance that hopefully represents all of the squad.
“I think in modern management some of the things that challenge you should be dealt with by the players before they reach you, and when you have a group of good lads who want to do the right thing they can deal with a small issue in the dressing room or a small thing about how we prepare for games.”