Pardew remains optimistic despite stalemate
West Brom 0 Everton 0
It was only four weeks ago when Alan Pardew was defending his reputation as a boom-and-bust manager.
The implication was that Pardew always starts his tenures brilliantly and ends them badly, but West Bromwich Albion are still desperately waiting for lift-off at the Hawthorns. This dour stalemate extended West Brom's run without a win to 18 Premier League games and, though this was an improved performance, Pardew has some serious work left to do.
He had branded this "a key game" yet Albion's failure to beat an unadventurous, jaded Everton team, or even test goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, leaves them deep in trouble. This display had the unmistakable whiff of a relegation team, down on their luck and unable to convert dominance into victories.
"We are hungry for three points but frustrated at the same time," said Pardew. "Nine times out of 10 you win that game, we just couldn't find that moment.
"It's a shame we couldn't get the win, it would have been significant with the other teams drawing. That's what this league is about, you keep hanging in there until they come. If we play like this, we'll be OK."
West Brom have only scored two goals in six games since his arrival and his fears over their profligacy was perfectly captured in the sixth minute, after an inexplicable miss from Salomon Rondon.
Jay Rodriguez's cross from the left presented the unmarked Venezuelan with a simple chance six yards out but he got his feet in a tangle and flicked the ball wide. It felt like a pivotal moment.