Roberto Martínez was almost able to enjoy the perfect debut as Everton's manager but it may be a few weeks before he is fully able to assess the task in hand at Goodison Park. Whether Martínez's squad remain intact during the next fortnight will have a major bearing on his first season in charge, although it was a familiar face from the club's academy that gave the Spaniard cause for optimism on Saturday.
Ross Barkley was the standout player for Everton and he capped a fine performance with a stunning left-foot shot from 20 yards during a frantic second half that also provided a debut goal for Norwich's record signing, Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
"You get to work with him and you get to see that he is someone who is ready for the first team," said Martínez of the 19-year-old midfielder. "I know that he had a little bit of a difficult time with injury but now he is fully fit and is a grown man."
Barkley's impressive finish just after the hour came amid a flurry of activity, with all four goals scored in the space of 20 minutes. Seamus Coleman gave Everton a 2-1 lead after Steven Whittaker had opened the scoring, before Van Wolfswinkel headed in decisively.
Speculation continues to surround Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini and both produced solid displays here, with Baines particularly effective down the left flank behind Steven Pienaar. Martínez, who would not deny rumours that he is interested in the Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, confirmed that he foresees activity in the transfer market before the summer window closes but would not be drawn on whether he expects Manchester United to make a renewed effort to sign Baines or Fellaini.
"We will try to be active, I always want to be as strong as we can but that does not mean that we will be successful," said Martínez. "We will try to add as many as we can, even though the concentration now goes on to the games we are playing."
Asked if he is confident of keeping hold of his established players, the Spaniard added: "I'm not focused on that, believe me. I've been very strong on expressing my views and I think the window should close before the first official game because I don't think it is right for anyone.
"It's not my concern now. I'm delighted to see a player like Leighton play in a demanding [England] game like on Wednesday and then giving everything today. Marouane, as well, was coming back from a [Belgium] game against France; he played 90 minutes and he gave everything."
Everton's starting XI did not contain a debutant although there appeared the early hallmarks of a Martínez side. The Spaniard, animated on the touchline throughout, encouraged his defence to play short passes into midfield and was unconcerned afterwards that his side had not kept a clean sheet.
Arouna Koné came off the bench with nine minutes left but it was Norwich's new signings who made a greater impact. Nathan Redmond, brought in from Birmingham City, was incredibly energetic and Van Wolfswinkel capitalised on his only chance. The Dutchman said: "I spoke to Robin van Persie before I signed for Norwich and he said they had made a big impression on him. He said that they were always a difficult team to play against.
"I know that you want to hear I'm going to score 15 or 20 goals but I don't want to set a target and not live up to it. I just want to do as well as I can for the team. If I'm not scoring, I just want to be important to the team in another way as well."
Man of the match Ross Barkley (Everton)