It was the Fans!
Fans have attended three home fixtures at Goodison this season, and Everton has taken all nine points from those matches. As Carlo Ancelotti has maintained all along, we can place 100-percent of the blame for the team’s horrendous home form on the lack of fans. There can be no other explanation. No supporters mean a home loss, whereas 6,500 voices (or even 2,000 before) forming a cacophony inside the grounds equals a surefire victory. The evidence was on full display Wednesday evening.
The fans were electric when Lucas Digne slowed down Adama Traoré on the right wing; They applauded the defensive intensity of Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey; And when Richarlison scored the team’s 10th headed goal of the season in front of the Gwladys Street end, the stands erupted in celebration. Thank goodness for the Goodison faithful.
You (Everton) Don’t Need the Ball to Win
Another win in a game spent with less possession. Against a high-flying Wolves side that pushes the pace on the flanks and through the middle, the Blues held just 41-percent possession on Wednesday. Despite seeing less of the ball, the Toffees proved yet again that they are better when they aren’t forced to do the attacking.
Everton’s form in matches they dominate possession has been well documented: they simply don’t fare well. The team isn’t built to attack for a full 90 minutes, and opposing teams set up accordingly. Games have been lost to bottom-half-of-the-table teams for precisely this reason, and it makes the Blues far too easy to play against. The Toffees should embrace a lower-possession strategy to maximize their results.
Wednesday’s win gave Everton its first league double over Wolverhampton since the 1975/76 campaign — the Blues won 2-1 at Molineux in January. Had you told me before the season that we would do the double over Wolves but get doubled up by Newcastle, I would have taken the bet against that stat line. But here we are, in mid-May, with two wins against a (should be) top-half team and two losses to a side that was in the relegation scrap for a majority of the season. And don’t even get me started on how we played against the three teams that will suffer the drop next weekend.
It has been that kind of season: significant wins on the road (Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool) have been accompanied by frustrating failures (Sheffield United, Fulham and Burnley). As has been the case with Everton since the invention of the wheel, each fixture presents a new challenge, making every victory that much sweeter.