JABBING a finger first at his watch and then the officials, David Moyes was a figure of fury as he rushed on to the Carrow Road pitch.
Yet the Everton manager’s berating of the extra injury period wasn’t the only concern to linger long after his side had somehow contrived to snatch damaging defeat from the jaws of much-needed victory on Saturday.
Timing is everything. And, at precisely the wrong moment, the Goodison outfit’s season is in danger of unravelling.
Certainly, the disgruntled supporters who descended upon the phone-ins and myriad forums to make clear their anger are aware Everton are now entering a potentially decisive few weeks in both the short and long-term future of the club.
One defeat in isolation isn’t enough to prompt such a reaction, particularly when Moyes did have a legitimate claim the clock was tweaked in favour of Norwich’s pursuit of an unlikely winner.
The bigger picture, though, suggests worries are not misplaced.
The hope of the Everton board that the failure to recruit from a position of strength in January does not come back to haunt them already appears a forlorn one.
Saturday’s game turned on the half-time introduction of Norwich substitute Kei Kamara, a Sierra Leone international striker signed on a short-term loan from MLS side Kansas City.
It’s exactly the kind of move Everton have perfected in the past with Landon Donovan and one which would have bolstered their squad, if only for a brief period post-Christmas.
Moyes’s men have won only one of six league games since ending the festive period with an impressive victory at Newcastle United.
Chasing a Champions League berth, Everton were three points off third place that evening. Now they stand five points off even fifth place and the safe haven of guaranteed European qualification, the achievement Moyes has intimated would help persuade him to sign a new contract at the end of the season.
His decision to delay discussions in the wake of the January transfer window in an attempt to quell uncertainty over his future is in danger of having the complete opposite effect.
When Moyes last entered the final season of a contract back in 2008, he put pen to paper in the October having admitted he feared ongoing speculation could destabilise his team.
And while rumours and conjecture won’t directly influence on-field performance, the situation will be used as a stick with which to beat Moyes should Everton struggle to arrest their noticeably diminishing form.
Staleness and fatigue is beginning to creep into their game, hardly surprising given the lack of options that has forced Darron Gibson to play through the discomfort of an injury that will require an operation in the summer.
Nevertheless, Everton demonstrated sufficient quality and worked themselves into a position to take maximum reward until an alarming late collapse against a Norwich side that hadn’t won in nine Premier League games.