Everton are in big trouble.
Last night's game against Burnley offered Frank Lampard's side the chance to pull themselves away from the relegation zone, with a win moving them seven points clear of their rivals with a game in hand.
Instead, they are teetering on the brink of the bottom three after a 3-2 defeat. Everton led in the game at the interval thanks to a pair of Richarlison penalties, but a strike from Jay Rodriguez just before the hour mark followed by a late winner from Maxwel Cornet meant they would leave Turf Moor empty-handed.
"A CHILLING MOMENT FOR EVERTON... IT'S A DEFENSIVE DISASTER" 😬
It's a HUGE goal for Burnley as Maxwel Cornet makes it 3-2 against relegation rivals Everton - Turf Moor goes wild! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/eOfJ32AHlE
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 6, 2022
There is now only one point between these two sides in the table, and while Everton have a game in hand, it is Burnley who are likely to have the momentum in the closing weeks of the campaign.
This situation has been a long time coming for Everton, although the appointment of Frank Lampard has certainly done nothing to stop the rot. The decision to bring him to the club looks like an increasingly poor one.
Of course, the Englishman is far from the only one to blame here. In saying that, he has continued his habit of putting all responsibility for any poor results onto his players.
Frank Lampard uses reliable excuse after Burnley loss
Speaking to the BBC after last night's game, Frank Lampard said the loss to Burnley was down to 'individual mistakes'.
It’s the points isn’t it? We’re now a point ahead of Burnley. We knew the rules before the game if you win it you have a nice little gap. That’s the situation.
It’s football, in three days we have to recover for our next game. We had mistakes for their goals and mistakes in not being clinical enough to take the numerous chances that should have had us clear at that point.
But 2-1, the way we were playing in the second half was for us to go and score and make it 3-1. We don’t do that. Then we just concede from individual mistakes...
With the first half we could be relatively happy. You have to deal with certain things coming to Burnley, particularly on a night like this. I thought we dealt with them well in the first half. But those crucial moments in the second half changed the game.
Our players have to keep going, they’re not silly. They know that they have to keep going, we have nine games to go. We’re just above the zone so if we didn’t know we were in a fight before then we certainly know now.
“There are nine games where we have to give absolutely everything, every ounce that we have. I will certainly do that and everybody has to do the same. It doesn’t feel nice tonight, but we have to understand we have a game in three days time and more games after that to get enough points to stay in this league. That’s what’s there to fight for.
Frank Lampard made a habit of blaming his team's shortcomings on individual mistakes during his time in charge of Chelsea, something that was said to have annoyed many members of the squad. Coincidentally, such errors seemed to all but vanish from the side after he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
Everton now find themselves in an incredibly difficult position, while also being led by an inexperienced manager who has no experience in such situations. Considering that they have been consistently criticised for a lack of character in the squad this season, it looks as though they could be quickly hurtling towards disaster.