Exclusive Peter Reid Column
The Everton legend pulls no punches as our new columnist.
A GOOD START
First off, I would like to say welcome to my first ever column for evertonfc.com. When you play for a club like Everton you are touched by it and I was delighted to be offered this chance to give my views.
To that end, it only seems right to start with what has been a very encouraging start to the 2012/13 season.
I was at the opening game against Manchester United and I thought Everton were terrific that night. They haven’t really looked back since.
Over the years David Moyes’ teams have always been well organised and well disciplined but I think there's a serious goal threat in the side at the moment, from all departments.
The impressive form means Everton are fourth going into this international break and David was deservedly named Manager of the Month for September this week. I’m sure he feels, however, that his side should be even higher.
In the game against Newcastle we were certainly victims of two really bad decisions and I think the referee against Wigan would also have to agree he didn’t have his best afternoon. You hope it evens itself out over the season but, honestly, I'm not sure it does.
That Everton are still where they are in the table despite those disappointments shows the players are very professional, that they don't moan and they just get on with it. That, at least, is pleasing.
BAINES v COLE
Attention has turned to international football this week and there’s been much talk about England’s left-back position in particular. Ashley Cole has been a terrific full-back but the form of Leighton Baines this season has been absolutely outstanding. England are fortunate to have two players in one position with that kind of quality.
A lot of this week’s discussion was triggered by Cole getting into hot water over his comments about the FA on Twitter. I'm on Twitter and I've also been known to use choice language in my time, but I would never dream of doing it on a social network. There are children out there reading what you say and I was a little bit disappointed in Ashley for behaving in the way he did. Should he have been punished further? For me, no. He's owned up and said he's sorry and we all make mistakes. It was probably right to move on.
England will be without John Terry for the first time since he retired from international football and I think Phil Jagielka now has a good chance of getting in there. I'm a great admirer of Ryan Shawcross as well and I don't think he'd ever let England down. But Jagielka’s experience of playing alongside Joleon Lescott helps his case. They had a good partnership at Everton and Roy Hodgson is an astute coach who I'm sure will be putting some serious thought into pairing them again.
Leon Osman has been consistently good for Everton in the middle of the park and he must be close to a call up himself. But Roy has experience with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and it looks as though he’s trying to bed in a couple of youngsters instead. There are two ways of looking at it and I can understand why Roy would want to do that.
On the subject of youth, St George's Park was officially opened this week and I’m confident it’s a positive move for the future of the English game. Any football nation these days needs a base with all the best technology and sports science and I'm glad the FA are looking to take things forward.
Spain were a nation who didn't really win major trophies but they’ve seen a generation of exceptional players come through and reaped the rewards. I know Chelsea won the Champions League without having a great deal of possession, but invariably the teams who are comfortable with the ball are the teams who win football matches and without doubt England need to produce young players with better technical ability and a greater level of comfort on the ball.
In the European Championships this summer we were well organised and hard to beat but we didn't pass the ball well enough.
This new facility is hopefully a start but bricks and mortar alone won't do it – there needs to be a philosophy within. Hopefully there is a system in place now whereby a set of standards and a level of expectation goes from the first-team down to the youngest levels so players from the Under-16s upwards understand how they are expected to play.
That has to be the way forward.
NO QUESTION, DIVERS SHOULD BE BANNED
Diving is a problem and players found guilty of it should be banned.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s it, end of story.
If the referee doesn't see it during the game - and I don't care who the player is - action should be taken retrospectively, as it is in Scotland.
Tony Pulis was the latest manager to call for retrospective bans this weekend but I've been calling for them for a long time.
For me it's the only deterrent and I think suspensions now are a necessity if we're to stop players doing it.
That said, Everton are a well-disciplined side and I don't ever see them being in trouble for diving or anything like that. Long may that continue.
Post your questions for Peter using the comments below and he'll answer a selection of the best ones as part of each column.