When the inquest is held into Stoke’s troubled season, with relegation now appearing increasingly likely, the name of Charlie Adam is certain to figure.
Recruitment, underachieving players and the time afforded to Mark Hughes by Stoke’s board will also be prominent but two moments involving Adam this year appear hugely damaging.
Adam has arguably cost Stoke five crucial points under Paul Lambert, with a missed penalty against Brighton and his dismissal in the defeat to Everton conspiring to leave the club facing the end of their ten-year Premier League existence.
He is a vastly experienced professional but the lunge at Wayne Rooney in the 30th minute was ill-advised and gave referee Martin Atkinson little option but to send him off, considering the dangerous conditions.
The former Scotland international has revealed that Rooney said it did not warrant a red card, yet it was a pivotal moment.
“I’ve let the team down and I’ve let the squad down. It’s part and parcel of being a footballer isn’t it? You have ups and you have downs. When you’re down you’re down and that’s the way it is,” he said.
“I was surprised it was a red card. I went over to see Wayne just more or less to see if he thought it was a bad tackle. He said ‘no’ really, but that’s just the way it is.
“The referee makes the decision, then that’s it. I went in to see him and he was still happy with his decision. I’m gutted because it’s a difficult time for everyone.
“The lads did brilliantly with ten men. I watched the rest of the game and their application and fight was incredible.”
It was not enough, however, and Cenk Tosun’s two goals leave Stoke below the dreaded dotted line and running out of time.
With only one win from 12 league games, Stoke are now three points adrift of safety and still have Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool to play.
Lambert’s problems are also piling up after he dropped defender Erik Pieters for breaking a Friday night curfew.
"There's still time but we have got to stay above that line at all costs,” said Lambert. “There's still a long way to go and the games are must-win games.
"It doesn't get any easier with Arsenal and Spurs up next, and neither does it after that. Every game is really tough but you've got to give yourselves a chance. You're better off winning the game with 11 men rather than ten."
Everton were far from impressive but Tosun’s predatory instincts enabled Sam Allardyce to start planning his summer business.
Tosun’s two goals, either side of substitute Maxim Choupo-Moting’s equaliser, ended a dismal run of five successive away defeats and the £20m striker is starting to look made to measure for English football.
But while Tosun is ending the season on a high, it will do little to remove the sense of frustration within Everton’s dressing room over their troubled campaign.
Phil Jagielka, the defender, said: “We’re safe now but we shouldn't be looking at that. We need to because of the business we're in but we shouldn't be. It's up to us to make sure we don't let the rest of the season fizzle out.
“We've got two really difficult games coming up and after that we've got some winnable games and we want to make sure we pick up some vital wins.
“It helps us build for next season. I know it sounds daft, there's still a while to go but people have got to put their name down for places in the team for next season. These last six, seven games can go a long way for that.”