Tuesday’s battling goalless draw at Fulham made it just one win in nine games in all competitions, stretching back to their 2-0 victory at Burnley six weeks ago.
A point is not necessarily a bad result in a game that could have gone either way, but Luton’s 4-0 win over Brighton the same night pushed the Blues into the relegation zone.
Off the pitch, the appeal against the 10-point deduction took place, 777 provided another loan as the their proposed takeover bid rumbled on and transfer deadline day came and went without any new faces.
Just another week in Everton-land.
With Manchester City away next weekend Everton’s plight could get worse before they welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park on the 19th for what could be a hugely pivotal encounter.
The Toffees may well have found out the appeal verdict by that stage too, making the task facing them between now and the end of the season a little clearer.
Tottenham have taken seven points from 12 since their rather fortuitous 2-1 win over Everton just before Christmas, with their only defeat a rather tired-looking 4-2 reverse at Brighton on 28 December.
It has been enough to lift them into the top four on goal difference ahead of Aston Villa. The race for their Champions League is now their only focus after they were beaten by Manchester City in the FA Cup.
They arrive on Merseyside boasting an excellent recent record against the Toffees. Everton’s only win in the last 22 league meetings was a 1-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the opening day of the 2020-21 season. Their last win at Goodison in the league was a last-gasp 2-1 victory in December 2012.
The last four Goodison meetings though have ended in draws, including last April when a late Michael Keane howitzer rescued a point.
Tottenham 2-1 Everton 23 December 2023
Everton performed admirably in north London just before Christmas but slipped to a narrow defeat.
Richarlison and Son put Spurs 2-0 up in the first half but the Toffees replied after the break through Andre Gomes. They also had a goal disallowed via VAR, saw goalkeeper Gigi Vicario make a string on fine saves and hit the underside of the crossbar in the final seconds.
Everton will have Idrissa Gana Gueye available after Senegal were beaten by Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup on Nations last-16 on Monday.
That is a welcome bit of good news as injuries begin to pile up elsewhere. Amadou Onana and Arnaut Danjuma are both doubts. Seamus Coleman is lacking match fitness despite returning to training, while Abdoualye Doucoure is only just back training on the grass and is not ready to feature.
What they said
Everton boss Sean Dyche: “The strength of the group has been from the front backwards. We’re asking centre forwards to play their part, defending from the front, and the wide players working hard through the midfield and into the back four or five.
“Now, the real key moments when you’re doing both, and that’s the biggest challenge in football, is to do both well - defend well and attack well.
“A lot of the performance-level stats are very strong, but you have got to take advantage of those stats by scoring in one end and stopping it at the other. That is one thing that hasn’t changed. We have to make sure that we are focused on that, but it is pleasing in one way that the team is affective to create those chances.
“It is about the group and the collective ownership. We ask them to work hard as a group defensively and we are asking them to work hard in attack, which they are doing. It is a shared responsibility, as well. I have spoken to the players about everyone scoring a goal.
“It is not about one person; it is about all of them. I think the attitude is right towards it, and the stats support the performances.”
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglu: “It will be a tough game. It is always a tough game when you go to Goodison and they gave us a tough game at home to be honest. So it will be a difficult challenge for us especially with the short turnaround, a lunchtime kick-off after a Wednesday evening game. So it will be a good test for us, a physical test more than anything else.
“Goodison is one of those iconic stadiums. Obviously there are a lot of new stadiums around and they are great to play in, but there is a little bit extra at those grounds with the history embedded into the club. It is always a good atmosphere there. The home fans will be right behind them and we will have some travelling support so it should be a good one.”
With the Etihad Stadium lurking there is extra pressure on Everton to at least get something from this game. The team is struggling for form and injuries are continuing to bite, but sometimes all it needs is a bit of inspiration from somewhere to get things firing again. Let’s hope we find it here.