Rafael Benitez had overseen a nice revival since becoming the new manager of Everton a few months ago.
The Toffees were level on points with the Premier League leaders after their first four games before they came crashing back down to earth last weekend.
Everton have now suffered back-to-back defeats but they can’t just blame a plethora of injuries for the events of the last week.
They have been missing Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, while Seamus Coleman and Jordan Pickford have also picked up fresh blows.
Four key members of the squad, it’s evident that Benitez will miss them. However, the way they lost 3-0 to Aston Villa last weekend was about more than just those absentees.
The Spaniard selected an under-strength side for the Carabao Cup clash against QPR in midweek as he attempted to wrap his other important figureheads in cotton wool.
However, it didn’t come off for Everton. The game finished 2-2 after normal time, with the Championship side eventually winning on penalties.
Academy graduate Tom Davies was the unfortunate man to miss his spot-kick on a night where he simply wasn’t at the races. During the course of the match, the midfielder won just 50% of his defensive duels, failing to offer much in any phase of play.
The £32k-per-week earner made only one tackle and gave away two fouls, while his attacking play was extremely limited as well. Davies didn’t attempt a dribble, failed to produce a key pass and had just one shot during the match.
He was linked with a move away from Goodison Park during the summer, and after his limited game-time this season, he must be wishing that something materialised.
After all, he is clearly not good enough to start on a regular basis. Lee McLean, co-host of the Bullens View, gave the 23-year-old a scathing review after the Carabao Cup exit.
He said: “I just think he’s an extremely poor footballer which is based on five years of watching him play week in week out. I have determined that I just don’t think he’s very good.
“He hasn’t kicked on in five years and never looks look like he’s got the fight or any sort of will to improve himself in any way. I don’t know what he’s particularly good at.
“He doesn’t score, he doesn’t assist. He’s weak, he’s not quick. He doesn’t impose himself on games and I think he hides from possession a lot.”
On that evidence, Benitez would be wise to steer away from him when they face Norwich in the league on Saturday afternoon.
This was a perfect opportunity for Davies to make a statement to Benitez, but instead he is likely to be ousted for Allan or Abdoulaye Doucoure this weekend.