Pre-season is well and truly underway as preparations for the new season gets underway.
With the Premier League season just three weeks away from it's big kick-off, teams up and down the country have started taking part in friendly fixtures to step up their preparations.
Such matches are more for fitness than anything else, but you'd be foolish not to draw conclusions from results and performances as we look for a glimpse into how the full season could play out.
Unfortunately for Everton, early signs suggest that it could be a tough old season.
Carlo Ancelotti's side took part in their first pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to take on Blackpool.
The hosts are plying their trade in League One and so this game should have been a walk in the park for the top flight Toffees.
However that wasn't the case.
Despite naming a relatively strong side with the likes of Lucas Digne, Alex Iwobi, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Moise Kean in the starting XI, they found themselves 3-0 down after just 11 minutes.
The first goal was conceded after just two minutes when CJ Hamilton struck, before Sulley Kaikai and Grant Ward struck shortly after to give the Tangerines a dominant lead.
Thankfully for the Merseysiders, they did claw the result back to 3-3 with goals from Calvert-Lewin and a brace from Gylfi Sigurdsson earning the Toffees a draw against Blackpool.
But despite the late fightback, this will be far from the perfect start for Everton.
Ancelotti will have hopes of pushing towards the top six in the Premier League this season, but that seems to be some way off.
Supporters will now be hoping that they can use this torrid start as a wake up call for the big kick-off in three weeks' time.
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
This is certainly a worrying result for Everton.
Despite fighting back to draw the game 3-3 in the end, they should have been out of sight against a mediocre League One side.
This will be particularly concerning for Carlo Ancelotti.
With aspirations of pushing towards the top six and beyond, it seems that the Toffees have plenty of work to do if they're to get anywhere near the upper echelons of the table.
Let's just hope that the rest of pre-season will be a marked improvement.
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