Everton have won twice and lost twice since Frank Lampard was appointed permanent successor to Rafa Benitez at the end of last month.
But the difference between the positives and the negatives has been stark. The Toffees have scored seven goals and conceded just once under the new boss at Goodison Park, progressing in the FA Cup and taking vital points against the similarly struggling Leeds.
On the road, however, they have been poor, slumping to defeats against Newcastle and Southampton. The latter in particular could have been embarrassing but for the heroics of Jordan Pickford keeping the score-line down – at the other end, they managed no shots on target.
Everton’s woeful away form isn’t exclusive to Lampard’s fledgling reign. They have taken just six points on their travels from a possible 36 on offer so far this season and no Premier League club has been less successful on the road.
At this moment in time, it is only a strong start to the season in August and September that saw Benitez’s Everton win each of their first three home games which is keeping their head above water.
Everton have won just two and lost 13 of the 17 Premier League games they have played since the start of October. The only away points they have taken came ironically at Old Trafford and Chelsea, while recent defeats against Norwich and Newcastle have been particularly damaging.
The weekend’s performance against Southampton at St Mary’s was so bad that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has since felt the need to apologise to fans who made the trip.
“On a personal note, it’s good for me to have got through 90 minutes against Southampton. But the result was the most important thing, and we were very disappointed with that – and I’d like to apologise to the fans who made the long trip down there,” he told the club’s official website.
“We know how disappointed they will be and all I can say is we will work hard to put that right.”
It is easier said than done, especially when such a poor performance at St Mary’s followed an impressive 3-0 rout of Leeds at home just a week earlier. The difference in mentality between playing at home and playing away is clearly what needs attention.
The problem for Lampard is that away form was also an issue in his 18 months as Chelsea manager, suggesting he has to figure out how to break his own away day slump as well as Everton’s.