Former Everton man Peter Reid: You can't beat The FA Cup

Friday 11 Mar 2016
Peter Reid and teammates celebrate Everton's 1984 FA Cup win

Everton have featured in 13 FA Cup finals but Peter Reid remembers two particularly well.

The first was in 1984, when he was part of the Toffees side that beat Watford with Andy Gray infamously heading the ball from Hornets goalkeeper Steve Sherwood’s grip to wrap things up.

More recently, however, the 2009 final – famous for Louis Saha’s strike after just 25 seconds – stands out, despite Everton being beaten by Chelsea with Reid among the Wembley crowd.

Guus Hiddink was the Blues boss that day and it is the Dutchman who will lead Chelsea, albeit this time in an interim capacity, to Goodison Park on Saturday for an Emirates FA Cup quarter-final.

And Reid cannot help thinking back to that summer afternoon seven years ago when goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard were enough for a Chelsea side, who would go on the taste Premier League glory the following season, to triumph.

Everton v Chelsea

The Emirates FA Cup

Sixth round

5.30pm, Saturday 12 March

Goodison Park

Live on BBC

“I was at the final in 2009 and I thought Everton were going to win it,” recalled the former Toffees and England midfielder.

“Chelsea were strong and I always thought during the game that Everton were hanging on after that terrific start, but that’s how good Chelsea were in those days.

Louis Saha scores inside the first minute of Everton's 2009 FA Cup final against Chelsea  

“I think the clubs are much more evenly-matched now and this FA Cup tie is going to be great.

“The FA Cup final is a brilliant occasion but you have got to get there first. This is a massive game for Everton in terms of getting a trophy in the cabinet.

“When you are looking at the cabinet now and you see an FA Cup medal, you can’t beat it.”

Reid knows that feeling very well indeed.

It is more than 30 years since the former Manchester City and Sunderland manager had that medal placed around his neck but the memories of Everton’s 2-0 win are vivid.

“Watford were on the up with Graham Taylor as manager and a lot of people didn’t realise what a quality team they were,” said Reid.

“They had John Barnes, Mo Johnston, Les Taylor, Kenny Jackett – they were a good side and it was a tough game.

“The FA Cup has always been magical for me”

Peter Reid 

 “Early on John Barnes was causing problems but I always thought during the game that we had the edge on them. After Graeme Sharpe got the first goal we controlled the game and I remember Trevor Steven having a particularly good game down the right.

“The FA Cup has always been magical for me and as a schoolboy if you had told me I would win a medal, I would have thought you were crackers.

“It is still my favourite medal because I always think the first one is the hardest.”

Everton beat fellow Premier League side AFC Bournemouth in round five 

As for whether Everton can reach a 14th FA Cup final and go on to win it this season, Reid admits resilience is an issue.

Last weekend Roberto Martinez’s side let slip a two-goal against West Ham to lose 3-2 – not the first time in recent memory they have been the victims of late drama.

However, he does believes the Toffees have reasons to be optimistic.

“There have been so many times that Everton have been up in games and haven’t seen it through,” added Reid.

“To win things you have got to play stylish football and you have got to be well-organised but you also need that desire to win. That is missing for Everton and they have got to find that against Chelsea.

“If you are talking about difficult ties, this is one, but if you put the ball on the other foot, Chelsea won’t fancy coming to Goodison Park either – it will be a bear pit at the weekend.”

By Paddy von Behr Reporter