After another nerve-racking but ultimately successful afternoon last weekend as Everton defeated Leeds United, the club could be facing another FA charge.
That’s because for the second match in a row Everton players were involved in altercations that eventually led to four players, two from each side, being booked.
This followed the Merseyside derby the previous Monday, when several of the Blues’ players and a number of Liverpool’s ended up pushing and shoving each other late in the game in a rather pointless display of pettiness with the result already decided.
Both clubs were charged after the derby by the FA, with failing to control their players and were fined £20,000.
Another fine would be irritating but that’s not the main issue. What’s more important is that the Toffees’ cannot afford to lose players because they have picked up a succession of yellow cards for this kind of silly and indisciplined behaviour.
Everton simply don’t have the strength in depth to cope with their starting players potentially facing bans, even for a week or two, with every game a vital opportunity to pick up precious points.
They already have enough problems with injuries, which have proved such a headache for a succession of managers.
And we know that Premier League referees have no love for the Blues’ and are very willing to show cards to their players, as we’ve seen time and again.
Moreover, it would be easier to accept if these cards were being issued because the Toffees’ players have been perhaps excessively determined and aggressive on the pitch, instead of off it.
At least then that physicality would hopefully have contributed to Everton winning a few matches, as they have done at Goodison Park in their last two fixtures at home.
Channelling aggression effectively has been a key factor in those wins (especially the first against Arsenal) when the Blues’ were constantly disrupting the Gunners attempts to play their fluid passing football.
There is always a fine line to be trodden when you are playing in this way and particularly when your dealing with officials who seem so often to manage games in an obtuse, inconsistent and erratic way.
Regardless, Everton need to keep up that intensity. But, let’s see them channel it exclusively to events on the pitch and not get drawn into stupid indiscipline off it, indiscipline which might prove very costly to their chances of staying up.