The Soccer Desk

Toffees Draw West Brom at Goodison Opener

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It was not a good day for the not so mighty Blues as they continued a streak of not being able to win their home opener.  In fact, Roberto Martinez has opened his Everton account with two draws to open the season, not the way the Goodison faithful were hoping the new boss would start things out.  As far as Everton draws go, this was one of the worst.

First Half:

From the minute the whistle blew, you got the feeling that something wasn’t quite right.  With Toffee supporters early on giving it their all to back up their team, Goodison park beame deathly silent.  How some came to call this match entertaining is puzzling; it was dreadful football from both sides.  Neither West Brom nor Everton had any real chances in the first half, and while Nikica Jelavić looked better than last week (and last season), he still is missing that deadly attacking prowess he brought to this team in 2011/12.

While the match did continue to show off Martinez’s new style of football for the 2013/14 Toffees, it was the players who couldn’t execute on the day.  Although Steven Pienaar, one of Everton’s few bright spots, came up with a couple of decent chances, the first half ended in a 0-0 stalemate, leaving much to be desired.

Second Half:

Yes, this match was certainly a mess for Everton, but it wasn’t without it’s share of close calls come the second half.  Marouane Fellaini had perhaps the best chance of the day, when his late, one time close range shot took an unfortunate bounce off the lower right corner woodwork.  Nine times out of ten, that ball bounces the other way, but it wasn’t to be.

West Brom had a close chance of their own when a shot from Shane Long was stopped by a diving Tim Howard, who also was one of the few bright spots for the Toffees.  That is to say when he was asked to make saves.  During goal kicks though, he, like the rest of his team, lacked any urgency to try and get the ball back into play.

While a 0-0 draw is certainly disappointing for West Brom and Everton, both managers found some positives to take away from the match.  “I have been very encouraged in both draws we were the team that deserved the three points,” Martinez told the media, “West Brom were a threat from set-plays and I thought we dealt with it really well.”

Meanwhile, West Brom boss Steve Clarke had this to say, “I said to the boys it was nice to see West Bromwich Albion back. The first game was disappointing but we played very well. This is a difficult place. Everton are a good team, but we showed today that we are also a good team.”

Next Fixture:

Next up for Everton is their Capital One (League) Cup match against Stevenage this Wednesday.  The Toffees will then go on the road as they take on Cardiff City this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Premier League Extra Time.  For West Brom, they head back to The Hawthorns for a two match home stand; first, a Capital One Cup match against Newport County, followed by a league match against Swansea City this Sunday at 10:00 a.m., also on NBC Sports Premier League Extra Time.

(photo courtesy of mirror.co.uk)