David Moyes may have just celebrated his 10th year at Goodison Park but it hasn’t been a happy last 10 days for the Everton manager.
On a 10-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, including victories against Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City, everything had been going well for the Toffees.
But a squad change-up ahead of the Merseyside derby on 13 March seems to have thrown a spanner in the works with defeat at the hands of Liverpool before a draw with Sunderland in the FA Cup and another loss to Arsenal on Wednesday.
Six key players including Phil Neville, Tim Cahill and Leon Osman were rested for the Liverpool game but this proved fatal as Everton slipped to a comprehensive 3-0 defeat against their local rivals.
Moyes was most likely looking ahead to the tie with Sunderland just four days later and all might have been forgiven had they marched into the semi-finals – but they didn’t.
Despite peppering the Sunderland goal throughout, Everton could only muster a response to match Sunderland’s opener so now face a replay on 27 March.
Moyes’ attempts to rest players as well as give others a run-out seems only to have hampered the momentum of the last few weeks which has been built up by consistency, hard work and good organisation.
Although players obviously need a rest now and then, especially as we near the end of the season, altering a set-up that is working is doubtless going to cause problems.
Everton were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Arsenal having had a goal disallowed in the process – and Toffees fans will be hoping Wednesday’s battling display will spur them back into form to finish the season on a high.
If ever there has been in a turning point in a club’s season then surely Queens Park Rangers’ dramatic comeback against Liverpool must be it for the Mark Hughes’ side and their survival hopes.
With 13 minutes to go, QPR were dead and buried at 2-0 down, and set to be stuck in the drop-zone going into the weekend until Shaun Derry, Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie stunned Kenny Dalglish’s men.
Now things are looking up for Hughes and his squad after a much-needed win at Loftus Road.
The Londoners are two points above the bottom three and have not lost ground on Blackburn Rovers, who
enjoyed an impressive home win of their own.
And after it came 24 hours after ex-boss Neil Warnock saw his side ship seven goals at home, it will be all the sweet for the Rangers faithful.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news