THERE’S no way of glossing over the fact that this was a truly wretched week in the history of Everton Football Club.
Saturday’s feeble cup capitulation against one of the division’s perennial basement dwellers will go down in history as one of the most humiliating episodes in our club’s rich cup history on home soil.
There were some ghostly comparisons with other tepid cup surrenders from years gone by about the Wigan game.
Walter Smith was lucky to survive an afternoon of utter woe back in 2001 when Tranmere came to Goodison and beat us by the same scoreline.
The final straw for Smith was 12 months later when he suffered a similar three-goal humbling at the mighty Middlesbrough in a game which marked the final toffees appearance of the ageing ex-England international midfielder Paul Gascoigne.
Back in 1997, Joe Royle’s own spell as manager was teetering on the brink and like Phil Neville against Wigan, the ‘flying’ Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis duly obliged in teeing up a goal for opponents Bradford.
Our skipper may like tucking into muesli and bananas rather than Gazza’s signature donner burgers, however both their performances served as confirmation that father time had caught up with their careers.
The alarming fall from grace of Kanchelskis in that game was eerily similar to that of current ‘marquee’ performer Marouane Fellaini. The booing of the Belgian wasn’t entirely down to him throwing in the towel so publically; it was also a signal of the resentment felt by fans towards him due to his repeated positioning for a move away from the club.
Kanchelskis left soon after the Bradford debacle whilst Fellaini has been edging towards the exit door since the turn of the year.
Whilst you couldn’t accuse Moyes of being as vocal about engineering a move away from the club his current position of ‘I’ll stay if I don’t get a better offer’ has also led to a feeling of resentment amongst a disgruntled fan base.
All this in a week when fans were asked to put their money where their mouth is and stump up a hefty sum to renew season tickets.
Fans can seek consolation in the fact that we usually play better when the pressure is off and Manchester City and Mancini always struggle at L4; the Italian has lost all four games at Goodison as player and manager.
The club certainly needs a lift and hopefully the players can banish some of the shame of last week and restore supporters’ faith in a season which promised so much but that is in danger of ending in calamity.