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Everton 1 – 3 Arsenal – Barclays Asia Trophy final: Instant Reaction

The Blues are comfortably beaten by Arsene Wenger's side in a disappointing display.

Lionel Ng/Getty Images

Well that was disappointing wasn't it? After solid displays against both Swindon and Stoke already in pre-season, Everton had every chance of beating the Gunners here.

Instead, it was a mismatch from the start with Roberto Martinez electing to change his side, with Arouna Kone starting up front and Tom Cleverley put out on the left, with Steven Naismith in the middle. Why the Spaniard just didn't choose his strongest side, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas namely, is a mystery.

It's a fair point that these games are all about fitness, but why not go full strength and give the Gunners a proper test ahead of the new season? Not only would it be a good run out for those players, it would also help us to see where we are.

And on this evidence, we are far behind the teams we so desperately want to get close to. Admittedly, the first goal was more of a mistake from Joel Robles than anything, but there was a definite gulf in class here as Arsenal looked more composed and better on the ball throughout.

Indeed, it showed a worrying lack of quality in the Everton squad, with Kone looking far from being a reliable second choice, Naismith no more than an impact player and there being no real back up on the left wing.

There were several good points though, with Ross Barkley coming on and taking his goal superbly, Gerard Deulofeu looking impressive once again and John Stones his imperious self as usual.

While it is only pre-season, it remains baffling that Roberto Martinez didn't go full strength and really have a go at winning this small tournament. After all, Arsene Wenger did and he now has a nice trophy from pre-season.

Not only that, winning breeds confidence and beating the Gunners would certainly have proved a big boost to the Everton squad ahead of the new season. For now, more questions need answering than have been resolved, despite a previously solid start to the pre-season schedule.