Everton were condemned to another frustrating result on Monday night as they drew 0-0 with West Brom at Goodison Park
Everton 0 West Brom 0: It was all so inevitable
By Eoin Leeson
THE game’s big moment occurred just before half time when Joleon Lescott handled the ball in the West Brom box and Everton were awarded a penalty.
Everyone expected Leighton Baines to step up but Kevin Mirallas grabbed the ball and wouldn’t hand it over. The inform Belgian, who scored a penalty in the shootout loss to West Ham, was allowed by Baines to take it, but he struck his spot kick wide.
Considering the rut we’re in and the way things have been going it was almost inevitable.
I thought that Baines, who has missed just one penalty out of the 16 he has taken, should have taken it, and that the penalty taker was decided in the dressing room pre-match. It was a stupid situation and the miss cost us 3 really important points.
Aside from the penalty miss, the game was a drab affair, mainly because West Brom made no effort to get forward but also because we struggled to create chances ourselves to win the game.
We may have dominated possession but Ben Foster almost had as little to do as Joel Robles.
There was a serious lack of creativity and desire to get forward with the excellent John Stones, our centre back, the only player I can clearly remember making an effort to drive at West Brom.
Ross Barkley is the player that should be doing this but he is playing absolutely dire at the moment and is hampering the team when he features.
I would much rather see him given a break and someone like Arouna Kone given a chance to start up front with Romelu Lukaku.
We need to get our attacking style from last year back and quickly. If we do that, and start scoring, results should be going our away because the defence looks a lot more solid with Stones and Phil Jagielka at the back. It was good to get a clean sheet last night but considering West Brom hardly got over the halfway line, not getting one would have been criminal.
Another issue that became even more prominent last night was our absolutely disgusting attempts at set pieces and crosses. Leighton Baines, famed for his delivery and quality in dead ball situations has been way below par in that area this season especially with corners and basic crosses. They can’t beat the first man. Seamus Coleman hasn’t been much better.
One bright point of last night was another man of the match performance from Muhamed Besic. He’s showing what a quality player he is and he deserved the applause he got when he came off.
Although Gareth Barry, who is one yellow card away from a two game suspension, slightly improved on his dreadful form, Besic and James McCarthy have to be our two holding midfielders once the Irishman returns from injury.
The applause Besic received was mixed with boos, the crowd annoyed at the star man being taken off. However, it was revealed after the game that the young Bosnian was subbed because of a knock he picked up. ‘Injury’ was also the reason given for Mirallas’ withdrawal.
This highlighted another massive problem at the club. Our injury list, including 18 different hamstring complaints, has been massive since Roberto Martinez, a qualified physio, joined the club.
Also, 3 respected health experts and physiotherapists have left the club during Martinez’s tenure. There is clearly something wrong with the training and recovery methods and the way injuries are dealt with at the club and it is costing us dearly.
Would we be in this position if McCarthy hadn’t been plagued by injury? I think not. This is an issue that needs to be resolved.
Monday’s draw was two big points dropped. We’ve won just once in our last 13 games and as well as that, we’ve got a hard trip to Crystal Palace next before facing Liverpool and Chelsea. The reality is we are in trouble.
Due to us being out of the FA Cup, we don’t have a match at the weekend so the squad are off to Qatar. Can his break turn our season around? Here’s hoping.
There’s no benefit in being negative and complaining so although I’m getting tired of saying it, I just have to believe that Roberto Martinez can show his managerial quality and the players can show how they got to be Everton players in the first place by finishing the season strongly.
Man of the Match: Muhamed Besic.