SC Paderborn 3 Everton 1


Right then, Everton’s preseason preparations continue to stumble along, with the Toffees remaining winless following this latest shellacking by continental opposition.

Obviously results are completely meaningless in these games, but you would at least want to see a decent level of performance, what with the season about to start next week and everything. By all accounts though, they were last again, and it’s going to need a transformation of Frank Maloney proportions if they are going to start the season at Leicester in the manner that all the giddy previews have predicted in the papers and online.

Young striker Chris Long opened the scoring on 16 minutes, neatly dragging back Steven Pienaar’s infield pass before curling his shot up and over Lukas Kruse in the Paderborn goal. It looked good on the minty footage of someone’s telly that the Metro are showing on their website, complete with wobbly phone and big shadow across the screen.

The lead was only short-lived, as Tim Howard conceded a penalty less than two minutes later and was easily beaten from the spot by Moritz Stoppelkamp. There were no clips of the rest of the game but we’ve all seen shite Everton performances before to know what they look like.

In the second half Marvin Duksch and Daniel Bruckner scored the goals that won the game for the newly promoted Bundesliga side.

Seamus Coleman is still missing with a hamstring strain, which is a bind but understandable, however slightly more mysterious is the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas who Roberto Martinez has said could miss the start of the season.

Why, exactly? What sort of holiday have they been on since the World Cup? Getting quadra-spangled every night at DC10? Madness. Surely, they will at least be on the bench for the first match. It’s almost inconceivable that they won’t be.

Can you actually have a ‘must win’ game for the very first fixture? It’s just that if they get beaten by Leicester they then face two eminently losable home games – it’s really not the start you want if you have genuine ambitions of getting in the top four. Points at this stage of the season count just as much as the ones at the end – just look at the way we shit the bed at places like Norwich at the start of last season and how it eventually cost us.

How Everton is this, thinking about the pressure being on already before a ball’s even been kicked in anger? Ace.

Has anyone else got the feeling though that this season is going be a bit wacky and wild? It’s just something about all the positivity, expectation and the weird, listless preseason. Add in the unknown element of the Europa League too and you get the creeping feeling that it’s going to be ‘eventful’.

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