Peter Reid hopes the fierce criticism flowing in the direction of Ronald Koeman and his Everton players will inspire a revival for his former club and believes they needs to set their sights higher after a troubled started to the season.
Everton legend Reid won two top flight league titles with the Goodison Park club in the 1980s and his suggestion in interviews last week that Koeman’s side ‘lacked fight’ added to the rising tide of discontent that is piling the pressure on the beleaguered Toffees boss.
Now Reid has told Yahoo Sport that he wants his stinging criticism of Everton to inspire them, as he urged Koeman to use his words to challenge his players to find their form after another disappointing display in a 1-1 draw at Brighton on Sunday.
“If I was Ronald Koeman, I’d get a copy of my article, pin it to the wall of the dressing room and challenge those players to prove me wrong,” declares Reid.
“When I said this Everton team lacks fight, I was not advocating that they should start clattering into their opponents with big tackles because I appreciate those days are gone. I’m not a dinosaur saying we need big tackles to show that Everton are serious, but there is a way of going about your job that means you can get stuck in and make life difficult
“What has not changed is that you need players who are willing to battle for every ball and for every point and I have not see that from Everton at times this season.
“I look at the brilliant Barcelona team from a few years back, with Xavi, Andres Iniesta and the rest all working their magic. They were fantastic on the ball, but they were just as good without the ball. They fought for everything, shut everything down, desperate to get the ball back the minute they lost it.
“Roll your sleeves up, shut down the opposition’s attacking ambition, make their lives difficult. However good a player you might be, there is no reason why you cannot show complete commitment to the cause.
“That’s what Evertonians want to see from their team and for all the fact they have some decent players there, we haven’t seen enough of that basic desire to succeed so far this season.”
Reid’s enduring passion for the Everton shines in our interview, with his insistence that the club he represented with pride are setting their targets too low resonating with these comments.
“I don’t mind seeing a team getting beat, that happens in sport, but it’s the manner of a defeat that matters,” declares Reid. “Don’t give me this nonsense that expectations are too high because I expect an Everton side to go to Old Trafford and give Manchester United a game, but they rolled over too easily last month.
“Everton are a massive football club and just because they haven’t won trophies for a few years now, that fact does not change.
“We should believe that with the money now in the Premier League and with the club’s owner, Everton can get into mix at the top of the table and while I would say give Koeman time to get it right, he needs to get confidence back into his team quickly.”
If Koeman is sacked at Everton, Reid suggests an English manager could be handed the chance to replace him, as he argues the influx of foreign managers has come at the expense of homegrown talent.
“Look at the job Sean Dyche has done at Burnley or Eddie Howe has done at Bournemouth and tell me why they are not in the mix when a top job comes up in the Premier League,” asks Reid.
“Foreign owners look for a sexy appointment of a big name foreigner, but they come to the English game and have to learn it from scratch. More often than not, they are then out of the door in double quick time, as we saw with Frank De Boer at Crystal Palace this season.
“Why don’t we give our own managers a chance to show what they can do at top clubs? They can’t do worse than a lot of the foreigners who are coming in on a conveyer belt.”
‘Cheer Up Peter Reid’ is available now in all good bookshops and online.