Freakish. Strange. Verging on the surreal.

The Everton team which has compiled the best away record in the club's 143-year history is now one match away from producing the worst run of home results in a single season.

The same group of players who travel more successfully than Michael Palin have struggled to manage more than a point a game at Goodison Park this season.

This latest home gruel, a 1-0 defeat by already relegated Sheffield United, means Everton have scrambled just 1.06 points per match from their home games this season.

A little more than a point a match, as opposed to a whopping 2.06 per game on the road – the most in the club's history by some distance which includes the nine occasions when they won the league.


Nineteen points from 18 matches is truly shocking. The previous record low of 1.14 points per game came in 1957/58, when Everton finished 16th.

Somehow Everton will still finish in the top half, but surely not high enough now to claim a place in a European competition next season.

Everton's unlikely chase for a place in Europe next season is statistically still alive. But realistically that chance has surely gone.

Carlo Ancelotti attempted to explain the stark contrast in his programme notes.

"We have an opportunity in our final two matches at Goodison Park to improve a home record which has made the fight for Europe more complicated," he wrote. "More complicated?"

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Carlo has never been one to make a drama out of a crisis, but he was at risk of underestimating Everton's wretched home form.

"Tonight it's vital to have complete focus from the beginning and start the game with speed and purpose," he added.

His players clearly don't read the programme notes because they showed neither speed nor purpose.

Carlo maybe got to the nub of the issue when he added: "In the games at Goodison when we didn't perform we were too comfortable I think, and missed a little concentration. When you don't pay attention the passing is slow and your opponent wins the duels. The team loses balance and is easier to play against."

With no crowd howling at sloppy passes, with no supporters roaring encouragement in the final third Everton were too slow, too deliberate, and often too sloppy.

Away wins have been more common across the board in this strangest of Premier League seasons, but only at Everton have they been truly commonplace where the bear pit has become a cat's basket.

There was sloppiness everywhere you looked.

Mason Holgate may have pace to burn - which is presumably why he starts - but his sloppiness in possession can be truly woeful.

A dreadfully underhit backpass gifted Daniel Jebbison the chance to score his second goal of the game and the defender was saved by a reaction block from his goalkeeper.

Ramsdale did the same at the other end, twice, but again Everton were guilty of a lack of conviction, an absence of purpose.

Richarlison’s diving header was spectacularly blocked by the Blades’ keeper but the ball rolled exactly where you would have wanted it to rebound - onto the right foot of the Everton centre-forward lurking six yards from goal.

But Dominic Calvert-Lewin placed his shot too carefully, too closely to Ramsdale who blocked again.

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Calvert-Lewin held his head in horror, as well he might.

Would a gasp from an expectant Park End, a note of anticipation have honed his reactions?

We'll never know.

We now head into the final home match of the season with Everton having enjoyed just a solitary home league win this calendar year, a slender 1-0 defeat of Southampton in March.

To avoid securing the ignominy of the worst home form in the club’s history, Everton need to pick up at least three points against Wolves, when more than 6,000 supporters will be allowed in.

Do the fans really make that much difference?

We'll find out on Wednesday.