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    Everton 3-0 Norwich City: Story of the season for the Canaries


    By Chris Lincoln

    Despite manager Alex Neil's call to 'give the fans something to cheer about' Norwich City produced a dire performance that summed up their season, as they crashed out of the Premier League with a 3-0 defeat to Everton.

    For Norwich the problem has been simple. Not scored enough goals and conceded too many, as the final day of the season scoreline reflects. The Canaries are comfortable on the ball and edged possession despite being away from home against a talented Everton side, but were unable to produce many chances.

    More often than not this season, opposition attackers have made Norwich pay by making the most of opportunities that fell their way and that is exactly what Everton did. Goals from James McCarthy, Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas saw off the visitors within the opening 50 minutes.


    Mirallas adds a third

    Going forward the tactic from Norwich has been to get the ball wide and deliver a telling cross to one of their target men in Cameron Jerome and Dieumerci Mbokani. Yet Alex Neil prefers to play with just one up front and opposition defences have found life relatively straightforward to see out the threat. Only Newcastle, West Brom and Aston Villa have produced less shots this season.

    Norwich have produced spells of pressure against most teams this season, but their passing has let them down too often. A success rate of 73.6% is not Premier League standard and has not given their forward players enough to feed off. This was the case oncemore against Everton as the Canaries only managed two shots on target from 55% of possession.

    Though the biggest area of weakness for Norwich has been their defence. They have made less tackles and interceptions per game than any other team in the Premier League, as was the case when teenager Kieran Dowell weaved his way forward to produce the first goal for James McCarthy. It is no surprise to see that Norwich have kept less clean sheets than any other team and have conceded more goals than everyone bar Aston Villa this season.


    Ashley-Seal is one for the future

    Everton used the match to provide a handful of youngsters, including the impressive Dowell, a chance to experience the Premier League atmosphere. Norwich, who look likely to keep Alex Neil in charge, will be hoping to bounce back from a record fourth top flight relegation and they may look to some of their youngsters to help achieve the goal.

    The Murphy twins, Josh and Jacob, have impressed at MK Dons and Coventry respectively this season, with the former earning his club's Players' Player of the Season. Nathan Redmond has proved he is a class asset when he is at his best, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe had an exciting middle section of the campaign, whilst young striker Bernard Ashley-Seal has scored a bagful of goals for the Academy team.

    Norwich also possess plenty of Championship experience in their squad and will hope they can keep the likes of Player of the Season Jonny Howson at the club, mixed in with some shrewd signings. After nine transfers during the January window, expect Carrow Road to be busy again in the summer, particularly with strikers Dieumerci Mbokani and Patrick Bamford returning to their parent clubs.

    Photos by Getty Images and Norwich City

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    Item Reviewed: Everton 3-0 Norwich City: Story of the season for the Canaries Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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