Alan Pardew admitted post-match that when he saw the fixture list in June he always knew that it would be a difficult opening day encounter.
"The fixture list throwing up West Brom as your first game is never going to be easy. They camp the midfield and break the ball down and better teams than us have struggled against West Brom, and of course they have their strengths from set-plays.
"Our record of scoring goals is not great. We need to address that because it was evident again that we lack a cutting edge. If we had scored first I think we'd have won.
"I think overall we played well and we had a big chance at 0-0 when Wilfried should definitely have scored. That's the area he needs to improve on. It's a fantastic chance and Wilf has got to learn to put those away.
"It's probably a reflection of where we are, we need a little bit more edge at the top of the pitch, we've said that we need a bit more goalscoring quality and we need to make sure we bring them in and we're working tremendously hard to do that.
The manager felt the match showed a hangover of problems that were evident at the end of last season.
"There was a lack of imagination, lack of craft, that is evident from the back end of last year and we need to put that right.
"It's a disappointing day for us, disappointing for our fans, they tried everything for us but we just didn't give them enough excitement.
"So for them it was a carbon-copy win and for us it just highlights our problems and that we need to put it right in the transfer market. Hopefully we will."