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Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu is “frustrated” and about to be handed his debut against Stevenage

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After a rather anemic offensive display in last weekend’s 0-0 home draw against West Bromwich Albion, Everton need some spice up top.

Enter Gerard Deulofeu, the Barcelona starlet that Roberto Martínez was lucky enough to land on a season long loan from the Catalan giants.

After featuring sparingly throughout Everton’s pre-season tour of the U.S., Deulofeu has grown “frustrated” at being relegated to the Toffees bench for the first two Premier League contests. But now, that’s all set to change as Martínez will hand the winger his competitive debut in the Capital One Cup against Stevenage on Wednesday.

More: Is Gerard Deulofeu in need of an ego adjustment? 

Martínez says Deulofeu, who scored 18 goals for Barcelona’s B team last season, needs time to adapt to British football and claims it may not be until the new year when Goodison Park witnesses the best of the 19 year old.

“He’s been frustrated so far, which I really like,” the Everton manager said. “For someone so young to feel they want to help the team is something you want to see as a manager. We need to be patient with Gerard. We will see the best of him in January or February. He’s an exciting winger. He takes people on and can play on both wings.

“He is the sort of player who can create something out of nothing but you need to remember that he is still very young and growing physically. It is also a big change from the way he [was] playing [at] Barcelona to adapting to the British game. It’s going to take a little bit of time but straight away you can see he’s got something that we haven’t got in the squad. He will be really important for us throughout the season. I have seen many crowd pleasers who do not have an end product and are not effective for the team. Gerard is a crowd pleaser with an end product.”

Martínez also spoke about the adaptation that Deulofeu must undergo from Spain to England. “For him, the biggest difference is going from a team like Barcelona who normally get so much respect that they give you 75% to 80% of possession. For a winger it is different when you play in a league which is more open and more box to box. That’s part of the adaptation for Gerard and it is nothing he can’t achieve.”

Predicting a line-up for a Capital One Cup match is never easy but it’s likely Deulofeu will be played on the left wing in place of 31 year old Steven Pienaar, who has played all 180 minutes of Everton’s first two Premier League matches.

Deulofeu could also be deployed on the right side of play, which would either displace Kevin Mirallas or send the Belgian to the left wing. Playing Deulofeu with Mirallas would seem to be a complimentary partnership given the players’ respective speed, skill and guile. With a similarly gifted Arouna Kone worked into the forward three, Martínez may be able to find an attacking combination that can put an end to the underwhelming offensive display that marred the club last Saturday.

Columbus, NYCFC release new kits to mixed results

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New York City FC
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Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.

Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.

The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.

The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.

While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.

NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.

As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.

Men In Blazers podcast: Romelu Lukaku Pod Special

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Rog and Davo break down Leicester City’s 3 – 1 win at Manchester City, marvel at Spurs going second in the table, and talk about the headlines surrounding the mid-table clash between Chelsea and United.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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FA Cup recap: West Brom survives with penalty win over Peterborough

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10:  Darren Fletcher of West Bromwich Albion celebrates with team-mate Saido Berahino after scoring his team's first goal during the Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay match between Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion at ABAX Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Peterborough, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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West Brom is the last team through to the FA Cup fifth round with a penalty win over Peterborough United after a 1-1 draw in their replay at ABAX Stadium.

Down 1-0 10 minutes after the halftime break, Darren Fletcher scored the equalizer in the 71st minute, and that scoreline lasted through regulation and extra time. Fletcher missed a penalty in the shootout, but Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster saved twice to put West Brom through.

[ MORE: Full schedule for every PL club ]

Other than the penalty shootout, things were quite even throughout the match. Posh actually lead slightly on possession, and had an 8-5 shots-on-target advantage as well. Jon Taylor was the man to score for Peterborough, putting them 1-0 ahead shortly after halftime. The 23-year-old midfielder also scored in the 2-2 draw at The Hawthornes in the original matchup.

West Brom will now take on Reading in the fifth round, a team that hammered Walsall 4-0 in their fourth round meeting. Reading currently sits 15th in the Championship table

VIDEO: Alejandro Bedoya scores extra-time winner for Nantes in Coupe de France

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01: Alejandro Bedoya of the United States controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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With USMNT World Cup qualifying not far away, Jurgen Klinsmann will certainly look to club performances to find out which of his players are grasping club opportunities by the horns.

One US national teamer in great form is Alejandro Bedoya. The 28-year-old has scored four times across all competitions since January 23rd, and his latest is a massive one. Bedoya sent Nantes to the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France with a 118th-minute winner against Bordeaux.

Bedoya has been a lightning rod for Nantes the past two or three seasons, but something he struggled for occasionally is consistent game time. Not anymore. The American has started five of their last six league matches, and since returning from some time off due to illness, Bedoya has featured in the starting lineup in nine of 11 Ligue 1 matches. What’s more, he’s finished the full 90 minutes in seven of those.

Klinsmann has looked to Bedoya in the past for a combination of electricity and defensive ability on the wing. Now, he may bring both endurance and a goalscoring threat to international competitions, which would go a long way in raising his national team stock.