(Reuters) - Peter Reid has questioned Everton’s character after their woeful start to the Premier League campaign left them just two points above the relegation zone.
After spending around 140 million pounds in the last transfer window, Everton, who finished seventh last season, have won just two of their opening seven league games.
Reid, who made over 220 appearances for the club from 1982 to 1989, said Ronald Koeman’s side appear to lack the stomach for a fight.
“I played in an Everton side not all that long ago which was lacking in confidence... “ Reid told reporters on Tuesday. “I think this Everton team is in a scrap. The team I was in could scrap. I am not sure this team can.
“We are in a dogfight and I am not sure ... they are ready for that. They look scared to put in a shift. I wouldn’t say they are not trying, but they look like they cannot move.”
While the club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has pointed to their tough schedule as a reason for the poor start, Reid, who won the 1985 top-flight title and the European Cup Winner’s Cup with Everton, said they had to set the bar higher.
“When the owner comes out and says that (a difficult start) is what we expected — no, you are wrong mate,” Reid added. “As an Everton fan, expectations are higher than that.”
The 61-year-old said Everton had to get the fundamentals right and prepare themselves for a battle.
“I would ask them to roll their sleeves up,” he said. “You get back to basics. You have to say: ‘Lads we have to make it hard for them when they have the ball’...
“I am not saying I want to be the next Everton manager but this is what that club needs, it needs a depth of desire.”
Everton travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in the league on Sunday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford