Everton’s fourth consecutive defeat has well and truly brought the Blues crashing back to earth. Manager Sam Allardyce, who once again oversaw a performance without a shot on goal, acknowledged that the Toffees lofty ninth position belied a possible relegation battle.
“The honeymoon period is over and the players have got to get back to listening to what we need to do to make sure we don’t get drawn back into the relegation zone.
”That is exactly what we are doing at the moment. We have faced facts that we can’t hide behind the wonderful run we had without being defeated.
”We have got to realise that we are threatening ourselves with a relegation fight again. That is a fact. We need to make sure we adjust and put that right as quickly as we can by putting points on the board.
”Next week’s game is massive for us now, as to whether we are going to start slipping into the relegation zone or decide we don’t want to be there and put three points on the board against West Brom.”
Everton’s utter collapse brought to mind the beginning of this season when they were thrashed handily by multiple teams in the top six.
“When you get a shock like that you absorb it, observe it and then explain to the players, ‘Here is why you did not perform in the second half, lads’.
”If we show any complacency or lack of desire this Premier League will punish you because anybody can beat anybody so we have to make sure we are on song.”
On current performance, it’s going to take a complete turnaround for the Blues to get back into contention for a spot just outside the top six, not something that we are seeing within the managerial abilities of Allardyce.