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Is Moyes set to pile on the misery for Everton?

David Moyes, who worked so hard to bring stability to Everton, returns to Goodison to find his old club in chaos

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Has it really come to this?

I - like most Everton fans - am struggling to comprehend how a season that began with so much promise can go so badly wrong so quickly.

I hope the team has reached rock bottom; but if this rabble of players have shown one thing this year, it’s the ability to plunge to new depths on a weekly basis.

Sunday’s game at Southampton was simply dreadful, embarrassing, humiliating, you name it.

I can take losing, I can take being outplayed by a better team. But Everton are getting absolutely trounced by average opponents.

The rest of the footballing world is laughing at us, or worse, taking pity on us.

There have certainly been worse Everton squads over the years in terms of ability, but I haven’t seen a Toffees side capitulate so meekly as this current set, and plenty of older Evertonians say the same. If things don’t change dramatically, they are going down.

Enter stage left, Mr Sam Allardyce.

Everton’s equally shambolic search for a new manager has hit a dead end at every turn, culminating in a desperate return to the former England manager, who withdrew his candidacy two weeks ago.

AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

At time of writing Allardyce is on the verge of being confirmed as the club’s new manager, with former Liverpool assistant Sammy Lee rumoured to be joining him.

Jeez, someone pass the bleach.

Caught in the middle of this is David Unsworth. He has been hung out to dry by the board and criminally let down by his players, yet has maintained his dignity and pride throughout.

The image of Joe Royle offering advice to a visibly broken Unsworth when the third goal went in on Sunday was truly horrible to see. He is hurting as much as the rest of us and doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

I sincerely hoped he could lift the players enough to at least see out the season, and give us the summer to find a permanent replacement.

Sadly, things haven’t worked out, with the Atalanta and Southampton thrashings ending any chance of Rhino getting the job.

Before then lies the return of former manager David Moyes, primed to pile more misery on already beleaguered Evertonian shoulders.

Unsworth has already labelled the game a “must win”, and a quick look at the table suggests he is right.

A defeat would send Everton spinning into the relegation zone ahead of a weekend game against Huddersfield and a trip to Anfield on the horizon.

It really has come this.

The opposition

If one side is trying to match Everton in the crisis club stakes it’s West Ham.

The Hammers were seemingly always looking for an excuse to sack Slaven Bilic after a below-par season last time out.

That duly came at the start of this month after a 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool.

In came David Moyes, much to many people’s surprise given the miserable time he endured at Sunderland last season, to try and steer the Hammers away from danger.

The Scot suffered defeat in his first game in charge at Watford (managed by Marco Silva, no less) but his side finally showed some fighting qualities in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester.

Moyes has lost all four of games he has managed against Everton while at Man Utd and Sunderland.

Given the way this season has gone most Evertonians would not be surprised if that duck is broken on Wednesday.

Team news

Leighton Baines and Michael Keane are both likely to miss out with injuries suffered at Southampton.

With Ramiro Funes Mori still sidelined and Mason Holgate struggling with a groin injury, the Toffees are worryingly short of defensive options.

Ross Barkley, Yannick bolasie and Seamus Coleman are still a few weeks away from a return.

Oumar Niasse serves the final game of his two match suspension.

Predicted starting XI

Everton: Pickford, Martina, Jagielka, Williams, Kenny, Sigurdsson, Gueye, Davies, Lennon, Sandro, Rooney.

Final word

This is the start of a huge week for Everton with Huddersfield arriving at Goodison on Saturday. The fans have a huge role to play in creating a rousing atmopshere to help rouse the team into a performance - and result.

The players don’t deserve it, they have been woeful. But one man who does is David Unsworth, who deserves huge credit for the way he has handled himself throughout this torrid saga.

In what is likely to be his final game before returning to the U23s, he more than anyone deserves to go out on a high.