Everton suffered their fourth defeat in five games on Sunday, as Manchester United ran out 1-0 winners in a far from enthralling match at Old Trafford.
The defeat all but ended their hopes of gaining European football, with the Toffees sitting 12th in the league, 13 points adrift of the Europa League places.
Manager Roberto Martinez has built a relatively young squad at Goodison Park, but they are massively underachieving this season.
It’s not just this year that they have under performed either. In 2013-14- Martinez’s first season – they performed admirably finishing fifth.
But last season, with the added distraction of the Europa League, they finished in 11th place, and have carried that poor form into this season.
They have the best goal difference outside the current top six (+9) but currently sit in the bottom half, nowhere near where they should be.
The Toffees have failed to capitalise on the misfortune of the bigger clubs in the league this season, unlike West Ham and Southampton who have stolen a march on Martinez’s men.
On paper this is one of the strongest squads that the Merseysiders have had in recent memory, especially compared to the teams that David Moyes had during his tenure at the club.
But beyond star striker Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, none of the team have performed to the standard that is expected of them, and that is where the manager needs to take responsibility.
In the summer, Martinez signed Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon and Tom Cleverley, who are all attack minded players. He neglected defensive signings, bringing in only one player, relatively unknown Argentinian centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori.
His lack of defensive back up has seen the Toffees concede 42 goals so far – only five teams have conceded more.
This season should have been the one where they proved their doubters wrong, that they meant business. Instead, they’ve exposed their soft underbelly for the rest of the league to see.
Their FA cup run has proved a worthy distraction though, with a trip to Wembley and a semi finals where they will face either West Ham or Manchester United to come.
But even this proves a problem. If they were to win the competition they would again be in the Europa League next season, and their league form would probably stutter as it did the last time Martinez and co tried to juggle both competitions.
On the other side of the spectrum, with no disrespect to the other teams left in the competition, they should be looking at it as a trophy they should win. If they fail to win it, it would extend their trophy drought to 21 years.
And with the potential lack of European football next season, Lukaku and Barkley could look to move on in order to further their careers.
That would leave Martinez with one hell of a headache if he manages to keep his job.