But this current crop of Blues has just made history.

But there is cause for optimism on the horizon, once the hurt of this Anfield experience eases.

Everton announced the signing of a long-awaited new striker – at half-time of the Anfield derby.

The Everton team of 1997/98 which mustered a measly 41 goals in 38 matches, fielded the less than luminary Claus Thomsen, Mitch Ward and John Spencer – and escaped relegation by goal difference, is widely considered one of the most wretched in Everton’s recent history.

Inside a modern 18-yard box, the gentlest of embraces is sufficient to see strong, beautifully balanced athletes collapse to the floor like puppets with their strings cut.

But sometimes referees do, too … Jeff Winter and his 12 yellow cards, one red and a couple of penalty kicks, Graham Poll and his early final whistle.

The Merseyside derby is famously the fixture to have yielded the most red cards in Premier League history.

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