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Everton 0-0 West Brom: Instant Reaction

The most painfully mediocre Everton performance since the last one

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

First off, apologies to everyone, Evertonian or otherwise, who just had the misfortune of sitting through that - the most painfully mediocre Everton performance since the last one.

We've had 0-0s against West Brom before - I was in attendance for the same fixture last year, which also ended goalless - but on that occasion there was promise. Everton pressed and harried, and Ross Barkley was the best player on the pitch by a distance - dangerous and unfortunate not to win the match with a couple of superb strikes.

Fast-forward 18 months and the result is the same but the performance was so much worse. Everton are still practising their entirely predictable brand of ponderous passing football, and the team's incisive elements - Barkley and Romelu Lukaku - have lost their edge. The Barkley of this season bears little to no resemblance to the one that bruised and burned defences just a matter of months ago, completing more attacking third passes than anyone but creating just a single chance to go with his one (blocked) shot.

Everton of course did have one great chance to win the game, but instead the debacle surrounding Kevin Mirallas' missed penalty encapsulated everything currently wrong at the club. A complete lack of leadership (compounded by poor management), and terrible technical execution, all of which lead to the club's recognised penalty taker being overruled by a conceited teammate, who then went on to scuff his shot wide.

I have no qualms with Roberto Martinez's decision to hook Mirallas as half time, but that isn't a situation that should be occurring in the first place. It smacks of weakness, of apathy, and of the complete lack of belief that currently courses through this Everton team. It's that that should have Everton fans booing, not the manager's decision to replace a holding midfielder on a booking for a striker late on.

Something has to change, whether it's the players' attitudes, the manager's ‘philosophy' or preferably a combination of both, because otherwise things are only going to get worse at Goodison Park. The assumption with everyone seems to be that we're too good to go down. Having watched that abysmal showing tonight, do you really still think so?