Twitter is splendidly immediate but not always reliable, as those who emerged from David Moyes's press conference to be told the Everton manager had resigned were able to confirm. He had not of course, although had the message in 144 characters been that the Scot sounded resigned, it would have been spot‑on.
There was something of the fatalist in Moyes's ready acknowledgement of the failing that has characterised his side all season, a chronic inability to take chances and the pressing need to do something about it in the transfer window. Whether he will able to do so, he said, depends entirely on who might be available on loan, rather than to buy.
What about Manchester City's Roque Santa Cruz, someone asked? Moyes shrugged. "I don't know. I could name lots of people and you could ask me and I would say, 'Well, maybe'. But in truth I don't know at the moment. We will try to look around and see what we can get. We've got to look to see who's available on loan. There might be a lot of deals done but they might not be done in the first week of January.
"I've got a really good chairman but that's the situation we're in at the moment. You could say about Stoke today, their goalscorer cost a lot of money. We don't do that now, so we're not in that market. It's a different market for us."
His reference to Kenwyne Jones, for whom Stoke City paid Sunderland £8m last summer and who has now scored seven goals this season, made it tempting to speculate how many of Everton's 10 draws in 20 league games this season would have been wins if the Toffees had even a reasonably consistent striker to call on.
As it is, Louis Saha, Yakubu Ayegbeni, Jermaine Beckford and Victor Anichebe have mustered three league goals between them, which makes the loss of Tim Cahill for a month to Australia's Asia Cup campaign even harder to bear. The midfielder's nine league goals are six more than any one of his team‑mates has managed, which made it all the more surprising that he should have missed their best opportunity on Saturday, heading a Leighton Baines cross the wrong side of a post.
By that stage Jones, with a mighty leap and header to meet Matthew Etherington's hanging cross, had already put Stoke ahead, and when Phil Jagielka, under pressure from Ricardo Fuller, turned the ball past his own goalkeeper halfway through the second half, the visitors never looked remotely capable of breaching City's committed defence, for all they continued to have more than their fair share of possession.
Things might have been different if they had been awarded the penalty they surely deserved when Ryan Shawcross brought down Saha after barely 30 seconds, but even then, in suggesting the visitors would undoubtedly "go on a run" before long, City's manager, Tony Pulis, appeared to be being unduly magnanimous.
"I think Everton are a very, very good side, they have all the tools, good players who can keep the ball and move it quickly, lots of power as well, and the quality of set plays they deliver into the box is absolutely first class. They'll pick up a lot of points and finish nearer the top end of the table than the bottom," Pulis said. As, perhaps, will Stoke, after a result that lifts them into eighth. "It's a big result for us after the last two home games, when we didn't get the results our performances maybe deserved," the Welshman said. "Kenwyne did smashing. He has had a family issue off the field to deal with, and as he's a loving kid, and a good kid as well, that might have affected him recently, but we've let him deal with it himself, and his goal gave him the confidence to go on and play really well."