Another bad day at the office as Everton fail to win again, put in another lack-lustre performance and see McCarthy suffer a double leg break after just returning from injury. Here’s five things we learned:
No plan for the blues
One of the biggest justifications for the sacking of Ronald Koeman was the lack of a plan that was being produced on the pitch. The players didn’t seem to know what sort of system was being played and it seemed neither did Koeman himself at times.
However, this game was a seriously worrying one to watch if you were a Toffee as it seems to be heading the same way under Allardyce. It’s hard to tell if the blues are attempting the long ball, trying to put crosses into the box or trying to catch teams on the break.
Just like under the latter weeks of the Koeman era it took a Niasse goal to help salvage something for the blues, a man who is linked with a move away once more. Allardyce needs to implement a system and soon. Which moves me onto my next point.
The slump continues for the Toffees
After the start the Blues had under Allardyce, not many would have foreseen the way it has gone now. Amazingly, Everton have managed to stay in 9th position despite being winless in six Premier League games. However, Everton are at serious risk of being dragged back down to the bottom half of the table and back into a relegation fight.
West Ham are now only two points away from Everton after their recent form and, with results going in favour of teams such as Bournemouth and Palace, the blues are now only three points off 13th and 14th place, un-doing all the good work that Allardyce originally did.
The main reason Everton have managed to stay ninth is due to the poor form of Watford and the gap that was originally created away from the bottom half teams, however, with all of them teams now catching back up and with Everton still slumping, it seems a bottom half finish is on the cards after spending £150 million in the summer.
West Brom’s lack of firepower costs them
If Alan Pardew is to keep West Brom in the Premier League then he needs to win games, meaning this game would have been an extremely frustrating one for the Baggies manager.
Rondon had a very good game and was easily too strong and good in the air for Everton pairing Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams. However, Rondon does not carry a goal threat with him so although he caused many problems for the Everton back-line he never truly threatened Pickford, other than his 25-yard-shot that hit the bar.
So far this season, the Venezuelan International has scored a measly three goals in 18 games with strike partners Rodriguez and Robson-Kanu getting just six between them. This may go a long way in explaining West Brom’s other big problem.
Draws continue to be a problem for the Baggies
This draw against Everton was the 11th draw this season for the Baggies. Considering they only have three wins to their name then these draws are arguably a massive reason as to why they find themselves in the bottom three.
So far West Brom find themselves on an awful run of winning just one game in their last 22, however, in that time they have only lost 10 of those games. West Brom currently have the most draws in the league with fellow strugglers Southampton only coming close with nine.
The Everton game was another example of when West Brom have easily deserved more from the game with the reverse fixture earlier on in the season being another example. If West Brom don’t find a way to turn one point into three then they may find themselves playing their football in the Championship next season.
Walcott introduces himself to the Goodison faithful
Arguably not the start that Walcott would have wished for results wise, however, on the performance side Walcott showed a glimpse of what he can offer in his time at Everton.
This was Walcott’s first start in a Premier League game since the 26th April and a lovely cushioned header from him back across the area helped set up Everton’s equaliser, with Niasse putting it into the net and Walcott getting his first Premier League assist for 475 days. Not long after that the Englishman produced a shot from outside the box which forced a decent save from Ben Foster.
In his own words: “I got chills when I walked out at Goodison for the first time. The atmosphere was so good.” Over time, once Walcott settles and he puts in many more stronger performances than he did against West Brom, he will truly hear the Goodison roar get behind him.
On a side note, all the best to James McCarthy, wish him a speedy recovery from his horrific injury.