A trio of daz­zling young­sters help to lift the gloom around Good­i­son

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - By Chris Bas­combe at Good­i­son

Man­ager leaves. Team start to play well. They win im­pres­sively.

It has be­come a fa­mil­iar rou­tine, and the only re­gret for Ever­ton – as it has been for count­less oth­ers this sea­son – is that they did not pro­duce this form when a job was at stake.

Roberto Martínez, the cham­pion of youth devel­op­ment, may come to lament al­low­ing his suc­ces­sor to reap the re­wards of a legacy be­low the first team. Whis­pers around Mersey­side have said for a while that the Ever­ton acad­emy has a crop of young­sters who will in­vade the Premier League in the near fu­ture, and the per­for­mances of teenagers Kieran Dow­ell, Tom Davies and Jon­joe Kenny in a com­fort­able win pro­vided com­pelling ev­i­dence.

Dow­ell was in­volved in two of the goals, and af­ter a sea­son of de­spair, Good­i­son ac­claimed the prom­ise of the fu­ture again. Dow­ell played 69 ex­quis­ite min­utes, leav­ing to a stand­ing ova­tion. Along­side him, Davies helped Gareth Barry run mid­field. A timid op­po­si­tion and the na­ture of this oc­ca­sion will be taken into ac­count – Nor­wich bid farewell to the Premier League with a whim­per – but the teenagers showed brav­ery in pos­ses­sion so lack­ing late in Martínez’s reign.

David Unsworth, Ever­ton’s care­taker man­ager, said on Fri­day that they were ready and his en­ter­pris­ing team se­lec­tion was vin­di­cated. “The young lads were ter­rific,” he said. “Kieran Dow­ell showed his qual­ity – flashes of ge­nius – and Davies was prob­a­bly man of the match. It’s never an ex­act sci­ence when to put them in. I don’t mind if they’re made to wait, be­cause it gives them even more de­sire.”

Dow­ell could claim an as­sist af­ter neatly rolling the ball into the path of James McCarthy, who hit a bril­liant open­ing goal. The lead dou­bled just be­fore half-time when Leighton Baines, who has bizarrely ab­di­cated re­spon­si­bil­ity for penal­ties for 18 months, stroked in a spot-kick af­ter Romelu Lukaku had been dragged down by Robbie Brady.

The third goal fol­lowed shortly af­ter half-time. Davies stole posses- sion, Dow­ell knit­ted the play in the mid­field, McCarthy found the over­lap­ping Kenny and the sub­se­quent cross was tapped in by Kevin Mi­ral­las.

Ever­ton were at ease, dis­con­tent re­placed by ap­pre­ci­a­tion as Tim Howard said his good­byes. Nor­wich have work to do if they are to mount a pro­mo­tion chal­lenge next sea­son. Their con­so­la­tion is that Alex Neil in­tends to over­see the re­vival. “It looks like I will be here for next sea­son,” said the man­ager. “The pow­ers-that-be will look at my con­tri­bu­tion and have a judg­ment, it’s not about me mak­ing a de­ci­sion. But since I’ve been here the club has shown me noth­ing but sup­port.”

In the spot­light: Kieran Dow­ell con­trib­uted to two of Ever­ton’s goals against Nor­wich

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