Everton wrapped up their pre-season campaign with yet another defeat, this time to German side SC Paderborn.
The result means Everton end pre-season with two draws and three defeats from their five games and although these results do not count for much when the campaign kicks off for real, there has to be some concern at the sloppy performances so far this summer.
The one bright spot on an otherwise disappointing afternoon was the opening goal by young striker Chris Long, whose showed delicious control to drag the ball away from the defender before planting a shot into the roof of the net on 18 minutes.
Frustratingly, the lead lasted barely a minute, Tim Howard having a rush of blood to the head and speeding out of his goal to give away a penalty.
Moritz Stoppelkamp sent the American the wrong way to bring Paderborn back on level terms.
The Bundesliga side then began to impose themselves on the game, getting in behind both Everton full-backs but without creating too many clear cut opportunities.
The pattern continued in the second half, though Paderborn needed a touch of fortune to take the lead on 68 minutes.
A shot from the edge of the box was wildly sliced, but the ball span and looped beyond the Everton defenders and perfectly onto the head of Marvin Ducksch who converted from close range.
Everton pushed forward in a desperate attempt to get back into the game but were caught napping on the counter attack on 76 minutes.
Paderborn broke forward with pace and after Saalick's shot was saved Daniel Bruckner was on hand to stroke the ball home beyond a helpless Howard.
With Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas yet to play any of pre-season and Seamus Coleman still out with a hamstring injury, it has not exactly been a straightforward start to the new campaign.
Performances as well as results have been poor and although we should not read too much into what effectively are glorified training exercises, there must be some concern as to the squad's preparation ahead of the big kick-off next week.
Lets hope with another week's training under their belts as well a reported behind-closed-doors friendly, the player's will step out at the King Power Stadium next Saturday in much better condition and ready to hit the ground running.