Amidst the rationalising and talk of un-awarded penalties, the most poignant words David Moyes uttered after Evertonâ€™s defeat to Newcastle was the simple assertion:
â€œWe´ve got to do better and win some football games.â€
Commendable efforts against Man United, Chelsea and Newcastle have resulted in no reward and a section of the fans staging protests against the board. With no money to spend and key players being sold without adequate replacements being brought in, the surprise isnâ€™t that David Moyes has survived so long but rather that the Everton board has managed to keep hold of him for so long. Heâ€™s been working near miracles with a threadbare squad over the last few seasons and itâ€™s clear that finding new investment is now paramount if Moyes is to stand a chance of doing anything other than fight against relegation. He has a good core to build around but a few more summers of selling stars and temporarily plugging gaps with loanees and that core could be gone.
There are a lot of ifs and buts to speculate over but for now Moyes still has the makings of team which should rightly be aiming to be in the top half of the table. As the manager said, they need to win some football games and playing at home to Wolves is a great opportunity to end their losing streak before it starts to get really serious.
Itâ€™s not that Wolves will be coming to Goodison Park to lose of course, especially coming off their win over Wigan. Theyâ€™ll also have a small contingent of Irish players returning to the squad on a high after their Euro 2012 qualification which should ensure theyâ€™ll kick off in a positive mood.
Mick McCarthyâ€™s side have only won once on the road and that was against Blackburn in their first game of the season. That was followed by a draw at Villa Park in their third game of the season but since then Wolves have suffered three consecutive away defeats in the league. David Moyes will be desperate to extend that to four and at 8/15 the odds suggest Everton will do it.
Itâ€™s unlikely to be a landslide though with Wolves conceding a relatively respectable eight goals in five away games and Everton managing just five in their five home games so far. 1-0 at 5/1 and 2-1 at 13/2 are the more likely scorelines.
Tim Cahill may be ready to start and if he does heâ€™s justifiably the second favourite to score first at 5/1. The favourite is Saha at 9/2 and it could be worth putting a few pound on Bilyaletidinov at 10/1. Heâ€™s been complaining about not getting enough game time so heâ€™ll feel he has something to prove if he plays and having scored twice against Wolves in the last two seasons he has a little form in this fixture too.
Itâ€™s not quite Malcolm X â€˜by any means necessary timeâ€™ but itâ€™s not far off. Everton need a win and anything less in this game will be a major disappointment for all concerned, adding fuel to the fire of unrest amongst the fans.