Prem Survival Series Part 4: Wolves & Everton
Who would have entertained the thought at the start of the season that the Mersey two would be hovering precariously above the relegation zone entering the second week of January?
This weekend sees Everton visit Anfield for a game that has taken on a lot more worth than local pride.
Will Kenny Dalglish wake up Monday morning on the back of three consecutive defeats? I'd take an Everton win just because the pressure it would heap upon Liverpool would reach new levels, just in time for their visit to Molineux next week.
A draw would be the best result for us of course, as it would stop either of them pulling away from us- both Liverpool and Everton are both locked on 25 points, 4 ahead of ourselves.
Any one of seven teams can find themselves propping up the Prem come Sunday evening, and whilst that list does not include Everton of Liverpool, they are both in the mix of the unlikeliest of relegation battles.
We spoke to Vital Everton-
What were you expectations at the start of the season?
Personally I thought we'd get top six, some of the other members on our site thought we'd compete for the Champions League.
Moyes has worked wonders at Everton. A half dozen games into the season I promised my fellow Wolves fans the combination of last year's survival and the money we spent in the summer would prove our early plight a false position- I used Everton as another example. We won't be in or around the relegation zone for long and neither with they, etc. Yet here we are- Everton 4 points above the drop zone in January? What has gone wrong?
Lack of goals, plain and simple, we can dominate possession, look very pretty but we don't take our chances and that has cost us on numerous occasions this season.
What level of support is the manager receiving from the fans?
On Vital Everton I think we're sympathetic to his cause. He has no money to spend so really what can he do? We all have our own ideas and moan when things go wrong but ultimately Moyes has served us well. That said, some fans are beginning to get on his back.
f applicable, how many more games should he be given?
For me? He has the job for as long as he wants it.
What players would you like to see brought/sold in January?
We have no money to spend and a pretty small squad in comparison to others. We might need to sell to be able to buy, but realistically it'll be loans and probably a striker.
Finally, where will Everton finish this season?
We're capable of putting a good run together, but ultimately it will be somewhere outside of the European places, and above relegation.
Many thanks to Yak from Vital Everton for allowing us an insight.
Thoughts? It is a very pragmatic response to the situation Everton find themselves in. They can see what has gone wrong, which is equal in simplicity and echoes much of our own season 'Lack of goals, plain and simple, we can dominate possession, look very pretty but we don't take our chances and that has cost us on numerous occasions this season.'
I like the assertion from Yak that Moyes has the job for as long as he wants it, after what he has done for their club it would be criminal to think otherwise and who could really step in a do any better.
I later asked Yak why, after so many years in the Premiership Everton are still hard up for money? Answer- 'We've accumulated big debts over the years, the Premier League TV money is always borrowed against so we just continually mount up more and more loans.'
This brings things into perspective for us- as Wolves fans we are crying out for additions having already spent 17 million in the summer- there is a grave concern amongst us that what we had might not just be good enough, and the ramifications of relegation could put us back three years or more, considering what we have already spent, and the improved contracts many of our players are on following their efforts promoting us, and keeping us in The Premier League.
Everton seem resigned to a loan signing or two to strengthen a squad they acknowledge is lacking, so similarly, I hope we will cast our net and land a couple of quality players to get us through the remainder of this season, without necessarily having to splash out transfer fees and three or four year contracts.
They are in the mixer, but with Moyes at the helm, I think Everton have a manager that is a couple of wins away from restoring some confidence and leading them slowly but surely away from trouble. I think they will finish up somewhere between 12th and 14th,reboot this summer and restore parity next season.
Thanks again to Yak-
Ahead of your replies, here are the fixtures and standings.
Over to you.
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Chelsea v Blackburn, 15:00
Man City v Wolverhampton, 15:00
Stoke v Bolton, 15:00
West Brom v Blackpool, 15:00
Wigan v Fulham, 15:00
West Ham v Arsenal, 17:30
Sunday, 16 January 2011
Birmingham v Aston Villa, 12:00
Sunderland v Newcastle, 12:00
Liverpool v Everton, 14:05
Tottenham v Man Utd, 16:10
Pos. Team. Played. Points
12th Everton 21 25
13th Liverpool 21 25
14th Fulham 21 22
15th Birmingham 20 22
16th Albion 21 22
17th Wolves 21 21
18th Villa 21 21
19th Wigan 21 21
20th West Ham 22 20
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.