Patterson latest casualty as Everton injury nightmare continues

The curse has struck yet again as another Everton player has succumbed to an injury with the news today that Nathan Patterson was stretchered off last night playing for Scotland.

The young Everton full-back was playing for his country in their Nations League match against Ukraine when he went down with what appears to be a knee injury.

At the moment we don’t know exactly how serious it is, but knowing this club’s luck it’s probably going to lead to a long spell out.

There are no words left to describe my own sense of extreme frustration at this endless nightmare of injuries to the Blues’ players.

On and on it goes with a relentlessness that is hard to come to terms with. Last season was bad enough with so many players out at one time or another, something that contributed to undermining a decent start and led ultimately to a relegation dogfight.

Meanwhile, the season before saw the exact same pattern and was even worse in terms of injury with every first-team player missing some game time!

Just since the start of this campaign, the Toffees’ have lost starting players Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate and Abdoulaye Doucoure to injury and we’re not even out of September!

Now with Patterson potentially joining that long list of absentees over the last few months, manager Frank Lampard is going to be forced to re-jig his team once more.

First of all I would like it if these ultimately pointless international games weren’t being played. I really wish we weren’t having another break for this Nations League nonsense when the start of the World Cup is just under two months away.

It’s bad enough with the Premier League fixture pile-up that was looming before the season started because of the ludicrous situation of having a World Cup mid-season.

And, that was before yet more time was lost with the decision to cancel one weekend’s entire set of fixtures after the Queen’s sudden death.

Now, we’ve got a further weekend without Premier League games, and in the meantime while participating in one of these internationals, another of Everton’s players has been hurt and might be out for weeks or even months.

In addition, we’re not talking about a player who isn’t essential to his club side either. As I wrote just yesterday, the young Scot has become integral to how Lampard’s team is performing.

He has been a revelation since coming into the team and this after suffering an injury last season which delayed his debut.

Patterson has combined the attacking instincts and verve we expected from him with really solid and mature defensive efforts.

These strong performances alongside his opposite number Vitalii Mykolenko, have meant that Lampard could successfully move to a back four when he had to because of all those aforementioned injuries to centre-backs, after starting the season with five at the back.

Assuming Patterson is out for a while (which seems almost certain) then presumably Seamus Coleman will take over again at right-back.

That’s unless Lampard maybe looks at moving Alex Iwobi there, although that would undermine his developing midfield and take away from Iwobi’s increasingly critical contributions there. The other possibility is trying summer loan signing Ruben Vinagre there.

Irishman Coleman is certainly a defensively solid and very experienced replacement but he certainly doesn’t have Patterson’s pace or attacking energy anymore.

Lampard might decide to revert to five at the back but I hope he doesn’t because the 4-3-3 he’s used since the injury to Holgate has worked well and creates much better balance.

It would also mean possibly having to sacrifice one of his three midfielders so fundamentally weakening that critical area of the team.

What a mess. We just have to hope that the young Scottish defender can recover relatively quickly because not only will the team miss that attacking outlet on the flank, Coleman is well over 30 and an injury-prone player himself.

The only remaining question is, who is going to be next to suffer from the Everton injury jinx?