This weekend Everton travel to South London to play Crystal Palace in a match where they must surely break their away day hoodoo and win.
The Blues’ haven’t won away from Goodison Park since the 2-1 victory at Southampton back in October last year.
That was a time in the season when Everton fans could perhaps be forgiven for thinking perhaps the team was beginning to improve in concrete ways.
As following that win the Toffees’ crushed Crystal Palace 3-0 at home, producing arguably their best performance in several seasons.
Supporters might have been allowing a little optimism to break through the almost perpetual gloom that had been the default perspective for many.
Of course, it soon faded and everything once again started to go wrong. Now, the club are back in a relegation fight with almost constant chaos and uncertainty prevailing off the pitch too.
Palace, this weekend’s opponents have featured heavily in the Blues’ fortunes over the last year or so. Of course, as we all remember, the Eagles were the side that Everton beat 3-2 to ensure survival at the end of last season.
The player who scored the winning goal in that game last May, might well be available and finally fit again after spending most of this campaign on the injured list.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin took part in a behind-closed-doors game against lowly Chester along with other former first-team players (which the Toffees’ still lost!) and so he could finally be in the squad on Saturday.
If Calvert-Lewin does make the squad should Sean Dyche pick him from the start against Palace?
There is a strong case for throwing him straight in as Dyche did in his first game as Everton manager, against Arsenal.
Even if he only plays an hour or so, an almost match-fit Calvert-Lewin is substantially more of a genuine goal threat than any of the other forwards Dyche has used to date.
And, if he could do enough to give the visitors a lead they would have something to hold onto at least, before he probably inevitably comes off.
I have argued too that the manager should return to his previous 4-5-1 formation after the tactical failure of his changes at Manchester United and in the damaging loss against Fulham last weekend.
Or perhaps he could play a version of this system with someone operating in a sort of number ten position behind Calvert-Lewin.
However they line up Everton need to be strong and competitive in midfield against a powerful and revitalised Palace side enjoying a little bounce after Roy Hogson’s return to Selhurst Park.
Given recent results, it appears as though any such uplift- which for a while looked more substantial – under Dyche has dissapated. Can he revive it and his team’s fortunes in time?
In truth, only three points will do from this match, something that seems a long shot given how poor the Blues’ have been in their last two games and the generally terrible away record they have.
It’s true they have gained two draws and points in their last away fixtures at Nottingham Forest and Chelsea, but now on Saturday all three are really needed as the games are slipping away.