Disgraced TV pundit and former Everton frontman Andy Gray has taken to the airwaves to warn the club the threat of relegation this season is a very serious one.
The Scot told Talksport:
“I said about a month ago I don’t include Everton in the relegation candidates but if the results keep going like this, they are going to be drawn in.”
Unlike the chauvinistic comments that got him the sack from Sky (which partner in crime Richard Keys labelled as ‘banter’) the Toffees’ Premier League survival prospects is a topic Gray is deadly serious about.
A 2-2 draw with Leicester last time out has left Roberto Martinez’s men precariously positioned above the drop zone, with just six points separating them from Burnley in 18th.
Gargantuan odds of 66/1 suggest there’s a very slim chance of the Merseysiders actually going down, but if they don’t improve in a hurry the outlook could be about to get a whole lot bleaker.
Two away matches at Arsenal and Stoke are up next, venues where even the most in-form factions could come a-cropper.
With one league win since December 15th, to call Everton out of touch would be something of an understatement and two defeats from these tricky fixtures is a worse case scenario they should be bracing themselves for.
Their trip to the Emirates comes in the immediate aftermath of a Europa League game.
Dealing with these post-continental collisions has troubled the Toffees all season; they’ve failed to win five of the seven Sunday fixtures they’ve fulfilled following a European encounter on the Thursday.
After thrashing Young Boys 4-1 in the first leg of their last 32 clash in this competition last week, progression to the next round is essentially guaranteed, meaning they have at least three more Premier League matches to come where the prospect of victory is slim.
Plenty of elite foes are due at Goodison Park – where Everton have drawn four straight and won three league games all season – between now and the campaign’s closure, meaning the pressure is on to collect points on the road.
The fact they’ve failed to win ten of 13 on their travels so far probably doesn’t bode well then.