Languishing just one place and two points above the relegation zone after seven games is not how everybody associated with Everton would’ve envisaged this season going.
So drastic has been the Toffees start to the campaign that should they lose at home to 19/4-rated Aston Villa next, they could wind up bottom of the Premier League upon gameweek eight’s conclusion.
But fretting blue Merseysiders can extract solace from the fact that, in recent campaigns, their heroes have fared particularly well after taking stock during international breaks.
Three points against the Villans is a prerequisite as they look to salvage their flailing season and recent history, as well as odds of 11/20, say they’ll get them.
Don’t believe us? Just look at this for form.
Their antics following the first international hiatus of the season present a perfect place to start.
Everton’s only wins of 2014/15 were especially convincing ones; 2-0 away at West Brom and a 4-1 routing of Wolfsburg in the Europa League five days later.
Both came immediately after action was resumed followed the annual September downtime.
The year before brought even more early-autumn joy – they won three straight Premier League outings between the restart and October stoppage.
Things got even better after the break 12 months ago – they didn’t lose a game from the first whistle back on duty up until a Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland, prevailing on six occasions along the way.
A midweek international in March meant domestic commitments didn’t pause, but immediately after it the Toffees strung together a six-match winning run; their longest of the season.
Under David Moyes it wasn’t much different: the September slumber in 2012/13 sparked an eight-match undefeated spell then, in November, after England lost a midweek friendly in Sweden, they forged a seven-game invincible streak after being bested in their first match back on shift.
This run included opponents as strong as Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham, yet neither could topple the Toffees.
Roberto Martinez has also experienced some his finest managerial moments after the international breaks.
Aside from the heroics he masterminded at Goodison Park last term, his Wigan side (you know, the one that seemingly used to lose all the time then somehow survive relegation every season) recorded their only successive league wins of the 2012/13 vintage after enforced hibernations in the fixture list.
Historical details considered, Everton rank as an excellent bet to beat Villa next so take advantage of their relatively generous price to do so.