Jamie Redknapp has told The Mail that Everton should be pleased with their opening 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur
The Toffees were handed a tough opening game against a side which finished eight places above them last season - with a gap of 23 points - but did not look inferior.
Tottenham's Kyle Walker in action with Everton's Gareth Barry
Redknapp believes Everton should be satisfied with the result and is expecting them to be in the mix at the top end of the table this coming campaign, rather than languishing in the lower half as they did last time around.
He said: "It has been far from the ideal pre-season for Ronald Koeman. John Stones has gone, Romelu Lukaku could also be on his way out and Koeman says his squad are only 70 per cent fit.
"To make matters worse he was without new signing Ashley Williams at centre back — so Koeman will be more than happy to have started the season with a point against a young, vibrant Tottenham. He finished sixth last season — can he do the same with Everton?"
Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen in action with Everton's Ross Barkley as Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Everton manager Ronald Koeman look on
While the Premier League is more competitive than ever, Koeman had a solid track record at Southampton, and helped them finish above both Liverpool and Chelsea last season.
A top six finish of this Everton side is a big ask, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility, and with their transfer business not yet complete and the side still gelling, there is plenty to be positive about for the club's supporters after week one.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman (L) and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino