Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta will both realise they have work to do after watching their new clubs Everton and Arsenal grind out a grim goalless draw at Goodison Park.
Each man sat impassively with their executives in the directors’ box as not many of the players on show passed the audition to impress them.
Apart from a Jordan Pickford reflext save to foil Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang there was little penalty-mouth action to excite the 39,000 fans inside Goodison.
Everton felt they should have had a penalty but VAR turned down the handball appeal against Lucas Torreira.
Interim Arsenal boss Freddie Ljungberg named a young starting line-up, leaving Mesut Ozil out of his squad entirely, but they failed to provide service to isolated captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Ljungberg’s Everton counterpart Duncan Ferguson, who had secured four points from two games against Chelsea and Manchester United, will now step aside as Arteta and Ancelotti take charge for the next round of league games on December 26.
Alex Iwobi’s first appearance against Arsenal since leaving the club lasted only 10 minutes before he had to be taken off due to an apparent hamstring injury.
A Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick into the side-netting was the closest either side came to working a goalkeeper during a woeful first half in which Arsenal mustered a single shot.
Jordan Pickford made an unconventional save to keep out Aubameyang’s close-range shot after the restart, the striker then sending a tame effort at the goalkeeper.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s blocked shot came from a rare Everton foray forward as Arsenal largely controlled the second period without incision.
Ferguson’s spell ended with him withdrawing a substitute for the second game running, Iwobi’s early replacement Cenk Tosun making way for Moise Kean, who suffered the same fate last weekend when he was hauled off at Old Trafford after playing just 19 minutes.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Everton (4-4-2): Pickford 7; Sidibe 7.5, Holgate 6, Mina 6, Digne 6; Sigurdsson 7, Davies 5.5, Delph 6.5 (Keane 72 5.5), Iwobi 6 (Tosun 12 6, Kean 80)); Richarlison 6, Calvert-Lewin 6
Subs: Stekelenburg (Gk), Baines, Coleman, Bernard
Booked: Davies, Sigurdsson
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno 6; Maitland-Niles 6, Chambers 6, Luiz 6, Saka 6.5; Torreira 6.5, Xhaka 5.5; Nelson 5.5, Smith Rowe 6 (Willock 66 6), Martinelli 7; Aubameyang 6 (Lacazette 78 6)
Subs: Martinez (Gk), Mavropanos, Mustafi, Guendouzi, Pepe
Booked: Saka, Chambers, Willock
Referee: Kevin Friend 6.5