No team has ever prepared to play a top flight match following a ten point deduction so Everton face Manchester United in what is a genuinely historic game at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The fallout from last Friday’s outrageous points penalty is continuing to create more and more ripples spreading through sports to politics and beyond.
Now, after a truly crazy week for the club in an era of almost constant crisis, Everton manager Sean Dyche and his players must again return their focus to football itself with a clash against United this Sunday afternoon.
As supporters we’ve said pretty much all there is to say about the situation and no doubt others will continue to weigh in with their opinions as well.
Dyche exuded a calm confidence at his pre-match press conference emphasising the reality that his team simply have to get on with things now and leave the off-the-pitch stuff to others.
The players will I’m sure be fully focused just on the game itself and there has been according to Dyche, important leadership within the group from senior players such as Seamus Coleman and Idrissa Gueye.
This is important because of course the Blues are now joint bottom of the Premier League thanks to the commission’s decision of last Friday.
That decision has undone all the momentum and improved results that Everton had managed over the last few weeks which had propelled the team up the table and away from the relegation zone.
Dyche has one major injury issue and he is sweating on midfielder Amadou Onana’s fitness as the Belgian international recovers from a calf injury. It does look touch and go whether he will be ready for Sunday.
If he is not. I imagine Gueye will take his place in what will probably otherwise be an unchanged side from the one that went to Crystal Palace and won a thriller 3-2 in the Toffees last game before the international break.
United have a slew of injury problems themselves and are missing a number of first-choice players as they prepare for the trip to Merseyside.
We know there will be plenty of protests before and at the game and I would expect a level of volume at the Grand Old Lady that we haven’t heard for a long time.
Hopefully, this noise and the overwhelming feeling of anger and frustration felt by fans at what has happened over the seven days with a sense of Everton against the world, will transmit positively and help lift the players and drive them on to win.
The next few months are now going to be even more difficult than they would have been anyway, and will probably be critical in deciding whether the Blues have been damaged beyond repair by the Premier League commission’s judgement. Let’s start the fightback on Sunday.