Football people tend to overexaggerate the importance of one or two results. Arsenal lose a game and the pundits pronounce they have no chance of winning the title. A couple of weeks and wins later, they’re backtracking.
Or take Manchester City, where Roberto Mancini goes from genius to gormless and back again every few games. And just think of how ‘must-win’ home games Hull City didn’t win last season yet we still stayed up.
Every team has performances which convinces their fans into believing they’re world beaters. And every team has those shockers which have the same supporters questioning the manager, the chairman, half the team and the bloke who served you at the refreshments counter.
The Everton away game was one of those absolute stinkers, devoid of virtually any positives, save for Tom Cairney’s first league goal and Jimmy Bullard’s reintroduction to the side, as ineffective as he (and the rest of the team) was.
Returning home from Goodison after this mauling on Sunday, I couldn’t feel much lower. Now the dust has settled I’m trying to put this result in perspective, for it’s only a few short weeks since we turned over Manchester City and deservedly drew with Chelsea.
The boring truth is we have our bad and good days – the difference between safety and relegation roughly boils down to having one more good day in 38 than three other teams in the league.
Picking over the corpse of this game is still too painful, so I’m going to end this blog post there and look ahead instead to the final ten fixtures of the season. Four good days will probably be enough to keep us in the top flight for another year, no matter how dire we are in the other six matches.
A positive result against Arsenal will be a massive boost, but a poor one doesn’t mean we’re finished.