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Saturday 13 September K.O. 15:00

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Reid On... Tackling

Blues legend shares his opinion in exclusive column.

Reid On... Tackling

DON'T OUTLAW TACKLING

You may have seen I had a few things to say on Twitter this weekend about tackling in the modern game.

It all came from the challenge that saw Vincent Kompany sent off against Arsenal - a decision that was rightly overturned on Tuesday.

You cannot outlaw tackling but to me it looks as though that's what they’re trying to do at times.

I thought it was good tackle, I didn't think it was excessive in force and I just thought it was a poor decision by the referee on the day.

There's nothing wrong with a fair, hard tackle. I'm not saying we shouldn't do all we can to prevent players from hurting or injuring one another but we do need to be careful football doesn't become a non-contact sport.

Referees are now being asked to make judgements on what they call 'intent' and 'excessive force' and it's getting ridiculous. As fans, we want entertaining, skilful football but we also want good tackles as well. I'm not talking about people going over the top or clattering in from behind - we don't want those types of challenges in football. But a good, hard tackle? There's nothing wrong with that.

In my day you got away with a lot worse. There are better rules now and football, on the whole, is better for it. But Jack Rodwell, last season, in the derby game, is another good example of why we need to monitor these scenarios - and an example where Everton suffered. That was a great tackle on Luis Suarez but the referee felt it right to give Jack a red card. Paying fans have spent a lot of money and it simply spoiled the game.

Jack Rodwell smallFormer Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell is dismissed from the Merseyside derby in October 2011.

On the flip side of the coin, Kompany made a tackle on Bradley Johnson in a game against Norwich last month that was far worse than Sunday's and didn't even pick up a booking.

Marko Marin, the Chelsea player, put in a challenge on QPR's Stephane Mbia recently that was high and horrendous and the referee only pulled out a yellow card.

There are a lot of these inconsistencies, and while I appreciate the referee's job is difficult and that it is tough for the authorities to magic a solution, a little bit of common sense has got to prevail.

I don't think fans will be turned off football if these soft dismissals and inconsistent decisions continue but I think if you asked 100 fans, 95 of them would want to see tackling in the game in a way it always has been.

BLUES SHOULD SLAY SAINTS

Swansea gave Everton a tough time last weekend.

They doubled up on Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines and seemed happy to sit back and defend for almost the entire game. 

I watched the game in the studio and I still think Everton had enough chances to win the game.

The way this season has gone and where Everton are in the league, there are teams now, especially at Goodison Park, who will set out purely to make it difficult for David Moyes and his players. It's something they're simply going to have to get used to. 

That in itself is a compliment and, let's not forget, Everton really should be higher up the league than they are. I remember the game against Newcastle where we should have won, Reading away where we should have won, Fulham away where we should have won - I think there were points in all those games Everton deserve to have but don't.

As well as they are playing, they've got to be more clinical in killing teams off and I'd wager that if you ask David Moyes he'd agree his side should have up to 10 points more. 

The next opportunity to build on their tally comes at Southampton on Monday night - but that won't necessarily be a straightforward task.

Southampton's in-form striker Ricky Lambert.Southampton's in-form striker Ricky Lambert.

To come from 2-0 down to earn a draw at Chelsea on Wednesday was a terrific result and it was no surprise because they've made themselves really tough to beat of late, they look full of confidence and they're on a bit of a run as a result.

That said, if Everton truly have designs on the top four - and I mean this with every respect to Southampton, another of my former clubs - it's a game from which they should really be looking to get maximum points.

The main threat to that could be the scouser up front, Rickie Lambert. He's a really good finisher and he's done fantastically well to come up through the leagues and establish himself not only as a Premier League player but a Premier League goalscorer too.

I like the look of Adam Lallana as well but fortunately, from Everton's point of view at least, it looks as though he'll miss out through injury.

It's a smashing club Southampton and I remember my time down there with a lot of fondness. There was one game we played live on television against Newcastle and Matt le Tissier was on fire, scored two absolutely brilliant goals and we won 3-1. I think I only had seven games in total but we got a few important points out of it and it was a shame when it came to an end.

Beyond Monday, I'll be looking forward to the FA Cup next weekend as Everton again take on another of my one-time clubs.

I still live in the Bolton area, I still look out for their results and they did brilliantly to get past Sunderland. But if you asked me to pick a team I want to go through, I'd obviously say Everton.

I've got a feeling David Moyes has got a little eye on the Cup this year. I know he will have done every year on some level, but at the back of his mind I just sense he's set it as a little target this year. I expect to see him pick a strong side and I expect to see Everton progress.

150 YEARS TO BE PROUD OF

I was honoured to be invited to the launch of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations this week.

I was sat next to an old teammate of mine, Kenny Sansom, and I caught up with a lot of familiar faces from my past. Lothar Matthaus was sat in front of us and it wasn't difficult to recall playing against him a couple of times when he was at Bayern Munich - I think I kicked him all over Goodison Park!

It was nice to catch up with some top players and all the past England managers as well, and the plans for these coming months sounded appropriate and exciting. 

We really should be proud as a nation that the game we all love started on these shores.

It's global now and it's the biggest sport, the biggest fascination in the world - and it's only getting bigger.

And it's nice to think those first rules were written up all those years ago in the corner of a pub in Soho. Something quite apt about that, isn't there?

philip gentileJags has made some excellent challenges this season,i especially like the last-ditch ones!

Friday 18th January 18:10 Report Comment

Keith Daniel RobertsBrilliant blog!

Thursday 17th January 22:26 Report Comment

david creweCompletely agree Peter, need tackling as part of the game, should have 10 points more, 3 on offer on Monday, Ramirez looked decent as well last night but none of them would be in our team!

Thursday 17th January 18:08 Report Comment
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