Defeat at Foxes will be fatal blow to fading Everton survival hopes
Here we go again as Everton supporters once more have to steel themselves for another Premier League ordeal as their team travels to Leicester City on Monday night.
These matches have now become a form of purgatory, which Blues’ fans have to endure and try and muster whatever feeble and threadbare hopes for survival they can.
However, as I wrote after the appalling 4-1 defeat at Goodison Park to Newcastle United last Thursday night, I’m afraid I think Everton are doomed.
We all know this is a very poor Toffees’ squad. But, the the manner of the collapse on Thursday and the atrocious defending, together with virtually no attacking threat or creativity, leaves little room for any optimism about their chances of survival.
Even the return at last of the team’s best striker and goal-scorer, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, hasn’t made any difference to this feeble team.
And on top of that, the manager has made a succession of questionable decisions in terms of players and tactics over the last few weeks, which have proved costly.
The most obvious and glaring one against Newcastle was picking Ben Godfrey over Nathan Patterson at right-back.
Godfrey had the proverbial nightmare and his inept and maladroit display summed up that awful evening and the situation this Everton team is in.
Too many players who just aren’t good enough and lack the nous and ability to fill a position and perform with any consistency.
When it comes down to it and what is needed are players who can find the strength within to produce something and haul their team away from disaster, they come up well short.
Despite showing new-found ressolve for a while under Sean Dyche – as with previous managers – ultimately it has proven to be yet another mirage.
All this is not new of course. We’ve seen such pitiful performances time and time again, season-after-season from this group of footballers.
I thought Dyche’s simpler, back-to-basics approach might be more deeply embedded and long-lasting, but I was wrong. And now it feels as though the decline is terminal.
This time last season, at least there was Richarlison’s commitment and goals and a sense that despite the manifest weakness of the team overall, there was just enough quality and fight left in key players like him to salvage the situation.
Now though the Brazilian is gone and with him it seems any last vestige of leadership and match-winning ability in this Blues’ side.
So, we go through the motions in the games left, before what seems to me to be an inevitable fall through the trap door to the Championship.
Monday’s match at the Kingpower Stadium sees Everton take on the team one place above them in the relegation zone. Neither side can contemplate defeat.
It is beyond the usual over-hyped ‘six-pointer’ and it seems obvious that whoever loses, will be heavy favourites for the drop.
Just as with Newcastle, last season the Toffees’ played Leicester City late in the season, again away, and claimed a priceless 2-1 victory with Mason Holgate being the unlikely player to net the winner.
That win proved a crucial one in the eventual outcome of the campaign. Can they somehow do it again on two days time?
Given Everton haven’t won away since October, and on the evidence of Thursday’s pitiful display, I just don’t see them repeating that feat. And unfortunately, I don’t think a draw is enough now with the games fast running out.
I’ve reached the point where fatalism is taking over so I don’t think it will really matter who Dyche picks, I doubt they will be good enough to win. I will though make a last plea for Patterson and Yerry Mina to get a game.
Miracles can happen, so they say. Well, I think that’s what Everton will need to stay in the Premier League, starting with this monumental match on Monday.