Everton Pre-season Preview: Toffees looking to impress new boss ahead of new season

Ronald Koeman's side will play six pre-season friendlies and travel 2,892 miles in a busy pre-season schedule as they prepare for the new Premier League season.

Everton Pre-season Preview: Toffees looking to impress new boss ahead of new season
Everton will play six pre-season friendlies and travel 2,892 miles in a busy pre-season schedule. (Image: Getty Images)

Everton supporters might have to wait until Saturday 13 August to see Ronald Koeman's first Premier League game in charge of the Merseyside club.

They will, however, be able to have the chance to see exactly how the new era is shaping up over the next few weeks in a busy pre-season schedule for the Toffees

2,892 miles, six games

After a week at the club's Finch Farm training complex and a training camp in Austria, the Blues will kick-off their busy pre-season schedule with a trip to Oakwell to face newly promoted Championship side Barnsley on Saturday 23 July (15:00 BST).

The Toffees will then visit MK Dons, who were relegated to League One last season, on Tuesday 26 July (19:45 BST), before two games in as many days in the Dresden Cup in Germany.

Koeman's side will play in the four-team tournament, alongside hosts Dynamo Dresden, Bundesliga side Werder Bremen and La Liga club Real Betis. The Blues will face Dresden on Friday 29 July (19:30 BST) and then either Werder Bremen or Real Betis on the Saturday afternoon (12:30 BST).

Wayne Rooney's testimonial sees the Blues tackle fellow Premier League side Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday 3 August (20:00 BST). The boyhood Evertonian progressed through the Everton academy and went from schoolboy to superstar in just 12 months. He scored 17 goals in 48 appearances for the Blues, before leaving Merseyside to join the Red Devils for £27million in the summer of 2004.

The Toffees will then entertain La Liga side Espanyol on Saturday 6 August (15:00 BST) in their final friendly before their Premier League campaign begins on Saturday 13th August against Tottenham Hotspur.

A chance for the Blues to impress new boss Koeman

The Everton players will be eager to impress new boss Ronald Koeman. | Photo: Getty Images
The Everton players will be eager to impress new boss Ronald Koeman. | Photo: Getty Images

Pre-season friendlies don't only allow supporters to see a glimpse of how their side is preparing or allow manager's to try out different tactics ahead of the new season. They also offer a chance for players to impress their manager and either show that they are worthy of a place in the starting XI in the opening few games of the season or for some players a chance to show that they still have a future at the club.

This is especially true for the Everton players this season as they all will be keen to impress new manager Ronald Koeman after he replaced Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park earlier this summer. The wind of change is likely to be blowing not only off the pitch, but also on it as Koeman looks to strengthen and put his own stamp on the Everton squad. Aiden McGeady, Kevin Mirallas, Arouna Kone and £13.5million January signing Oumar Niasse all have a point to prove and must use the pre-season friendlies - if given the chance - to show they still have a future on Merseyside.

Competition is high amongst the club's first-team for the majority of positions on the pitch, especially considering the young talent that has progressed through the academy over recent months. Players will be eager to impress the Dutchman and showcase their ability as they look to cement themselves in Koeman's first-team plans. With new signings expected over the next few weeks, current players will be even more eager to impress over the next few weeks.

How does the pre-season programme compare with other clubs?

Everton travelled 13,520 miles in pre-season 12 months ago, but this summer the players will travel just 2,892 miles during pre-season as the Blues choose to play other domestic clubs and European sides. But how does Everton's pre-season programme compare with other Premier League clubs?

Ronald Koeman's side are travelling the fifth shortest distance of all the top-flight clubs in pre-season. Tottenham, who the Toffees play on the opening day of the season, are travelling the furthest of any Premier League club with a total of 22,468 miles, including a trip to Australia. Watford, meanwhile, are the Premier League side to do the least travelling, covering 1,632 miles over their six pre-season games.

Does pre-season distance matter? Looking at the statistics for Leicester City last summer, some may say yes. The Premier League champions did not venture abroad for their 2015 pre-season travels, their furthest trip being to Rotherham - 66.4 miles up the M1 - and the remainder coming in the Midlands. They began the season with 12 points from six games and went on to become Premier League champions, finishing ahead of Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham who all travelled long distances in their pre-season preparations.