There are few jobs in football that are more demanding and pressurised than managing Chelsea, but by accepting the challenge of reviving Everton's Premier League fortunes, Frank Lampard has arguably found an even more difficult task in his new job at Goodison Park than he ever encountered at Stamford Bridge.
When you manage Chelsea, it goes with the territory that success is an absolute must, but while owner Roman Abramovich expects silverware from every manager he appoints, the job also comes with the knowledge that the club is a supremely well-run organisation, with some of the best developing talent in the game in its youth ranks and the financial backing of Abramovich, who has always ensured that the team is stocked with elite players in every position.
Sometimes even success isn't enough to stay in the job at Chelsea. Carlo Ancelotti was fired just a year after winning the Premier League and FA Cup double, while Roberto Di Matteo was gone within six months of winning the Champions League in 2012. Lampard himself was dismissed after 18 months in charge last January despite guiding the team to Champions League qualification and the FA Cup final at a time when Chelsea were unable to sign players due to a FIFA-imposed transfer ban.
But while Chelsea are a club built for success, Lampard will soon discover that Everton have all the same ambition but none of the advantages that he enjoyed in his previous job. They are a club with a proud history -- only Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have won more league titles than Everton's nine -- but they haven't won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 1995.
Goodison Park is an outdated relic, and a move to a new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey is not due until 2024 at the earliest. There is also the ever-present issue of neighbours Liverpool winning major honours, including the Champions League and Premier League, at the same time as employing world-class players such as Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk and one of the game's top coaches in Jurgen Klopp.
Everton are a club with a huge fan base and one that demands a return to the days of competing with the best. But there is also intense frustration and anger among the supporters at the cycle of failure, which has resulted in Lampard being the seventh permanent manager hired since David Moyes left for Manchester United after 11 years in charge in 2013.
Farhad Moshiri has overseen the spending of more than £500 million on new players since becoming majority owner in 2016. However, aside from rare success stories like Richarlison (£35m from Watford) and Jordan Pickford (£25m from Sunderland), there have been far too many expensive failures such as Alex Iwobi (£28m from Arsenal), Theo Walcott (£20m from Arsenal) and Cenk Tosun (£27m from Besiktas). So when Lampard gets down to work at Everton's Finch Farm training complex, he will do so with a squad of players that has been assembled by his six immediate predecessors and are sitting four points above the relegation zone having lost 10, and won just one, of their past 14 Premier League games.
If Lampard felt that managing Chelsea was always a battle against the clock, managing Everton is like getting into a taxi and seeing that the meter has already started running. And the eventual destination might not even be worth the journey. That is what Rafa Benitez discovered during his turbulent six months in charge this season. Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Marco Silva also learned that the Everton experience can be an unforgiving one, while Ancelotti was probably wise enough to know that, had he not been re-hired by Real Madrid last May, three wins from his last 12 Premier League games would have put him at risk of losing his job at Goodison.
But Lampard's appointment might just be a sign that reality and perspective is beginning to seep into the Everton boardroom after so many irrational decisions, including the hiring of Benitez last summer when there was so much open hostility toward the Spaniard among fans because of his six-year spell in charge of Liverpool from 2004 to 2010.
This is a club that, sources have told ESPN, interviewed Fabio Cannavaro as Benitez's replacement after he had been recommended to Moshiri by advisors unconnected to the club. Cannavaro has spent the past five years coaching in China and has never managed in Europe, but he was nonetheless deemed worthy of an interview. Vitor Pereira was also interviewed, again after being recommended by outside influences, despite a similarly unimpressive track record since coaching Greek club Olympiakos to the double in 2015.
But after failing to negotiate a deal with the Belgian Football Association for coach Roberto Martinez -- fired by Everton after three years in charge in 2016 -- Everton have eventually turned to Lampard. Either by accident or design, they have landed on a manager with a track record of building attacking teams with promising young players.
Aston Villa have made a similar move by appointing Steven Gerrard, and the early signs are that the former Rangers manager is making quick progress at Villa Park.
Everton were never going to be in the running for Gerrard -- if the hostility toward Benitez was intense, you could crank it up even higher for the former Liverpool captain -- but Lampard has similar credentials and a desire to succeed in management. That may not be enough at Everton, though, because it is a club that will make managing Chelsea seem easy for Lampard.