The low moments of our season can be pointed straight at Jordan Pickford’s erratic blunders, but the goalkeeper has defended his position as England’s number one, as quoted by The Guardian.
Firstly, he let the other side of Stanley Park win the first Merseyside Derby of the season, when he opted against punching the ball out for a corner and instead risked it hitting the bar for Divock Origi to score Liverpool’s winner.
Then he played a key part in our collapse at St James’ Park, when he speared Magpies striker Salomon Rondon and gave away a penalty, before completely failing to deal with a strike from distance by Miguel Almiron which Ayoze Perez tapped home the equalising goal from.
Errors like that, while the likes of Tom Heaton excel at Burnley, could have been enough to see Gareth Southgate drop the 25-year-old from the Three Lions’ starting XI, but no, our man has retained his place in the England first-team.
Pickford, however, has defended his continual use between the sticks down at Wembley, and has shed some light on the high-level blunders that spurned our chances against Newcastle.
“With me being a Sunderland lad, in front of 52,000 Newcastle fans hurling abuse at you for the full game, maybe it did get to me a little bit too much,” he said. “But I’m only 25 and, as a learning curve for me, that’s how I can improve. Next time I go there, I won’t be getting involved as much.
“Apart from the Newcastle game, I’ve been doing well and I think I bounced back from that with a solid performance against Chelsea.
“That shows my mentality and my character, and the manager has put his faith in me to start against the Czech Republic. Since the World Cup, I’ve seen the good side, getting rounds of applause in stadiums.
“That’s different class, and what the England squad have hopefully done for the nation. But I won’t be getting that at Newcastle ever. That’s something I’ve got to deal with.”