Football Expert & Columnist
West Brom: Carragher and Neville back Pepe Mel's Baggies to stay up
The MNF experts said Pepe Mel's West Brom did well against Everton - and have enough to beat the drop.
Last Updated: 21/01/14 8:51am
Diego Lugano's 75th-minute strike ensured a 1-1 draw for the Baggies after Kevin Mirallas had opened the scoring for Everton in the first-half to ensure their new manager picked up the first point of his reign at The Hawthorns.
Jamie Carragher was impressed with the impact of Spanish coach Mel, who has never managed in the Premier League before - and said his pressing game and change of formation after the break was vital to their comeback.
"I don't think Everton played great or you could say any side deserved the three points," he said.
"I think it was interesting to listen To Roberto Martinez afterwards. He knows Pepe Mel well and what he's trying to do in pressing and pushing up high - and that's something we did see.
"West Brom were trying to push that back line high up and had a compact team; that's one of the reasons why Martinez played Kevin Mirallas through the middle to try and expose that.
"But credit to West Brom, who started with a 4-4-2 and he changed it in the second-half with substitutions.
"He put Youssouf Mulumbu on and you might think that's a defensive player when they were getting beat 1-0 - but he changed the system to a 4-4-3 with Victor Anichebe coming on as well and I think those changes got them back into the game."
West Brom have won just one of their last 10 matches and sit in 13th place in a congested Premier League table, just four points above the drop zone.
And while fellow Sky Sports expert Gary Neville says their squad lacks firepower - Shane Long has been sold to Hull and Nicolas Anelka may face an FA ban for an alleged offensive gesture against West Ham - he says they should have enough to avoid relegation this season.
He said: "They have lost a centre-forward in Long and potentially - we don't know - something could happen to Anelka. We've seen Matej Vydra tonight and I suppose Anichebe really is a plus for him tonight.
"Saido Berahino is another young player who could be used and that's where he will be most bothered.
"They are a solid group of players at West Brom, a solid bunch, and you can rely upon them and trust them to an extent. They more often than not won't let you down.
"Alright, they might not have the quality all the time to beat the big teams, but what they will have is a reliability to grind out results at times and do enough.
"That's why I think they will be ok."
Anelka is set to learn if he will be charged by the FA over the controversial 'quenelle' gesture he made against West Ham last month; an issue which has prompted property website Zoopla to announce it is ending its sponsorship deal with West Brom.
The contract is set to end at the end of this season, but Neville was left unimpressed by the actions of the sponsors.
"West Brom should get rid of them now," he said.
"The idea of sponsors getting involved in football teams and getting embroiled? For me, you want commercial partners at football clubs who support you through thick and thin.
"Incidents are going to happen. Anelka has not even been charged yet, let alone found guilty. Now he may be found guilty when it goes through the process, but the idea that a sponsor gets involved and takes an isolated single incident as a reason to get rid of a whole football club...
"Actually it's a good football club with 25,000 good people who watch them every week and a good group of players - I find it absolutely ridiculous that they're getting involved."