West Ham United suffered arguably their worst defeat of the season on Wednesday night as they were humiliated 4-0 by Everton in the Premier League.
The Toffees were one of just a few sides in the division whose poor form was comparable to that of the Hammers, but the teams looked worlds apart on a chilly night at Goodison Park.
A Wayne Rooney hat-trick and a late header from Ashley Williams put David Moyes’ side to the sword and with a clash against Manchester City coming up at the weekend, the tasks do not get any easier for the Irons.
So, after such a dismal loss, here are three things that we learned:
Chances must be taken
The same was said after the Watford game a couple of weeks ago and it still stands true; you must take your chances when in control of the game.
Having been outplayed for the entirety of the opening period and deservedly two goals down, West Ham came out after the break and finally looked like a cohesive football team.
Manuel Lanzini stung Jordan Pickford’s gloves with a well-struck long-range effort, before Aaron Cresswell rattled the bar from inside the 18-yard box.
However, the big chance came when Diafra Sakho, on as a half-time substitute, was felled by Williams, leaving referee Michael Oliver with no choice but to award a penalty.
Up stepped Lanzini, but his spot-kick, much like Rooney’s in the first-half, was too central and at a good height for the keeper, who made the save.
Unlike Rooney’s attempt, which he eventually converted from the rebound, Pickford parried the ball away from goal and the chance was gone.
At a time when the Hammers were finally on top of their Merseyside opponents, that was an opportunity that could have turned the tide of the match.
As it transpired, Everton struck twice more to condemn Moyes to a second defeat from his three matches in charge.
A few eyebrows were raised when the Irons secured the loan signing of Joe Hart from Manchester City over the summer.
The 30-year-old endured a torrid Euro 2016 with England and followed that up by spending a season in Italy with Torino.
His performances in Serie A were mixed to say the least and many felt that Hart was a goalkeeper on the decline, lacking the authority of his youth.
That seems to have been proven correct this term after a series of unconvincing displays, none more so than at Goodison on Wednesday night.
With the score at 0-0, the ex-Birmingham City stopper came racing out of his goal for a loose ball, only to mistime his challenge, sending Dominic Calvert-Lewin crashing to the turf.
Whilst Hart protested to referee Oliver that his finger touched the ball, the contact was hardly significant and a penalty was the correct call.
He saved Rooney’s resulting effort, only for the former England captain to head home the rebound.
In the second half, Hart again sprinted from his line to make a clearance, this time winning the contest but only picking out Rooney, who sent a wonderful strike from inside his own half into the empty net.
It was a superb finish but again, questions have to be asked of the goalkeeper’s contribution.
Hart was once a reliable option between the sticks but now the time may have come to give Adrian a run in the team.
It seems futile to suggest just one area of improvement that is needed in this Hammers side, given that they have conceded 30 goals in the Premier League already this campaign and scored just 12.
However, the midfield was conspicuous by its absence at Everton, particularly in the first half, and it is an area that Moyes needs to address in the coming weeks..
Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang have started the last two fixtures together in the centre of the park but whilst they offer physical presence, there is little in the way of creativity or guile when in possession.
It would be refreshing to see one of the youngsters given a chance, such as the highly-rated Domingos Quina, who made the bench against Watford and Leicester City but was left out of Wednesday’s matchday squad.
More likely is that Moyes may dip into the transfer market when it reopens in January, but he must buy carefully and will be limited in his options.
The whole spine of the team looks shaky at present but there are players to return from injury in defence and attack, leaving the midfield looking threadbare.