The 2-1 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday was a game Evertonians and the team manager Carlo Ancelotti had seen plenty of times before this season.
A limp first-half effort, where the Toffees had been lucky to get in level at the break.
A listless second-half display, neither protecting their parity nor pushing forward to get a victory.
A late goal from the opposition after some slack midfield and defensive play.
Nothing in terms of a response in the final embers of the game, with the visitors able to see out the win at Goodison Park comfortably.
On their own patch Everton have been hopeless, with one win, three draws and six defeats from their last 10 outings in L4.
And while there have been some games that have deviated from the four-point blueprint outlined above, so many matches have aligned with all or most of the aspects of it.
Leeds United, Manchester United, West Ham United, Newcastle United, Fulham, Manchester City, Burnley and now Aston Villa have been able to use it as a way to get past the Toffees.
For Everton, the unique circumstances of the Premier League this season had seemingly opened up an opportunity to push towards the top four. And frustratingly, it is these same circumstances—the lack of supporters—that have been a contributing factor to that door being slammed in their face.
“The fans probably play a big part in it [Everton’s normally sound Goodison form], but it’s down to us to graft and work hard and constantly give our all,” goalkeeper Jordan Pickford said after the game, per the Everton website.
As much as the lack of depth in the playing squad is clearly the biggest issue Everton need to solve this summer, there’s little indication that Ancelotti is getting any closer to a finding a winning formula at Goodison either.
It’s unclear what kind of team Everton are supposed to be at home. What is clear is that they can’t press, can’t create chances frequently and seemingly lack the physical intensity required to get back into games when conceding in the second half.
Whether it’s by getting in better players this summer or doing more with the tools at his disposal, Ancelotti must find a fresh antidote to prevent more dire runs like this, regardless of the imminent of supporters to stadiums.