Frank Lampard was left clinging on to his job as Everton manager following a damaging 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham.
The Toffees’ under-fire owner – majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri – and chairman Bill Kenwright were in attendance as two goals from Jarrod Bowen kept the Toffees rooted in the relegation zone.
On another miserable afternoon for the blue half of Merseyside, Everton’s fans made their feelings crystal clear again by unfurling banners reading ‘Board Full Of Liars’ while their team capitulated.
Such is the discontent surrounding the club that Everton’s directors had been advised to stay away from last week’s home defeat by Southampton for their own safety.
Thus, Moshiri’s appearance at the London Stadium felt hugely significant. It was the first time he had attended an Everton match in almost 18 months, and therefore the first time he had witnessed the team under Lampard. Whether it will be the last remains to be seen.
Moshiri brushed off questions about Lampard as he left the ground while Kenwright, asked if it was the end for the manager, said: “It’s been a bad run of results for us all, and for Frank, but I would never say that to you. We’ve just got to start winning, haven’t we?”
Either way, the Everton board have a fortnight to stew on this latest defeat, their 11th in 14 matches, before the next game at home to leaders Arsenal next month.
On his own future, Lampard said: “Those things are not my choice, it is my job to work, focus and keep my head down.
“I know there’s things going on at the club but it’s never been a consequence for me whether a chairman or board member is at the game.
“I was at Chelsea for 18 months and the owner didn’t come to one competitive game. It’s not about that to me. It’s not for me to guess what he thought about the game.
“It would hard for me to sit here and talk about the right direction because of the result. We stayed up by the skin of our teeth last year and were five points shy of safety with not many games to go.
“I’ve said that we might stay where we are, and was questioned whether that is competitive enough talk. But, for me, if you are in a club where the club has moved downwards with serious investment, the conditions now are that we don’t have that investment and we are trying to rebuild.
“That doesn’t mean straight away you start climbing stairs. It means you have to dig in as a club and I’m prepared to dig in.”
Bowen’s celebrated his two first-half strikes by tucking the ball inside his shirt, a day after partner Dani Dyer announced they were expecting twins.
They were also celebrated by manager David Moyes, who has created some breathing space with his future also under scrutiny following their recent slide.
“I’m pleased with the result and bits of the performance,” he said.
“I think it’s a relief to the club itself, it was a big result for us all. The players earned it, they recognise the situation we are in and are working to get away from it.
“I really hope Everton stick with Frank. He is a top bloke from the times I’ve been with him, but I have to think about my position because me winning one game doesn’t mean everything is fine.”