Everton have failed to win a single game during pre-season, including a 1-0 loss against the team they face in their Premier League in just a few days time. In each of the games they have looked severely off the pace, perhaps more than they should do at this stage.
Everton Pre-Season Results:
Tranmere Rovers 2-2 Everton
Leicester City 1-0 Everton
Everton 1-1 FC Porto
Everton 1-3 Celta Vigo
SC Paderborn 07 3-1 Everton
Strength of opponents?
One of the most worrying concerns is the strength of the opponents Everton have faced during this pre-season. With the exception of FC Porto, these are the type of teams that Everton should be beating relatively comfortably.
Unlike last year - when Everton competed in the International Champions Cup and faced high-quality Champions League opponents in Real Madrid and Juventus (the latter of whom they beat) - this year the quality they have faced has been somewhat poor.
It is true that results are not the highest priority during pre-season campaigns, instead it is all about getting up to match fitness. But the problem is Everton have done neither, they do not look at all ready for the Premier League season which starts imminently.
Against Celta Vigo and Paderborn, whose seasons incidentally both start a week later, Everton looked distinctly second best fitness wise. With the Premier League starting earlier it really should be the other way round, instead Everton's play was laboured and ridden with sloppy errors.
It must be taken into consideration that arguably Everton's two most influential players last season - Belgians Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku - have not played a minute of pre-season and therefore a fair assessment cannot be conclusively made without these two players
But the fact of the matter is both will not be fit for the opening game against Leicester because of the World Cup. Therefore Everton are stuck with the players that have performed quite miserably during this pre-season campaign.
Any new signings Everton may make before the deadline will take time to bed into the squad having not had a full pre-season. Therefore do not be surprised if perhaps Everton have one of their traditional slow starts.
But, on the other hand, last year's pre-season produced some memorable results and Everton slumped to three draws in their first three games. Maybe we should not get too carried away by pre-season results.