Everton continued to plumb new depths of despair away to Southampton at the weekend.
How they can be the only Premier League club to have taken points from Man City is one of the great mysteries of the 17/18 season.
David Unsworth’s continued presence as manager is less of a mystery, explainable through a panicked sacking and shambolic recruitment process.
His post-match interview is as confused as his team’s performance.
In being led by the first question, he starts with a defence of the team, highlighting the positives and excuses.
“We came back into the game – it was a fantastic srike by Gylfie.”
“We missed Niasse – in my opinion he should be on the field. Injuries are absolutely killing us at the moment.”
Then it is as if he suddenly remembers the score and its implication.
” I can’t stand here and defend the players. It was completely unacceptable. Everton fans are rightly furious and so am I.”
“I’ll take my responsibility, but players have to come with the football club also – if they don’t, I’ll get players who do.”
One can only imagine the new players will need to be found within the club as it is difficult to see Unsworth being given responsibility for a transfer budget.
Leadership communication lesson
Consistently reading and reflecting the mood of an audience is fundamental to the success of any leader. In Unsworth’s situation the mood is one of anger and with such a powerful emotion he had to start his interview in this place. If your mood misses its mark at the start, it is very hard to play catch up, so invest as much time as you can in understanding your audience before any significant communications.