It appears the March international break will be dominated by talk of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with plenty of pundits having their say on the England No 1’s recent form and behaviour between the sticks.
It’s not unfair to say the 25-year-old has had a choppy season, but he’s far from being alone in that given Everton’s struggles and performances and as our stopper, he attracts the headlines more easily when things go wrong. As they did against Newcastle United where he had a mare and it appeared his emotions and passions got the better of him. He was more himself though in the game against Chelsea and kept a clean sheet in the game as we took an unexpected victory, but that hasn’t stopped some from discussing his role under manager Marco Silva and nor his England place itself.
Speaking to Sky Sports Premier League following our much needed victory last weekend before the March break began, former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness was full of praise for his performance on the day, and he compared him to former team mate Bruce Grobbelaar.
“He was faultless. For a goalkeeper, you want to think at the end of the game, ‘my goalkeeper has played well today, he’s made difficult saves and made it look simple’ instead of some goalkeepers, and he’s got some of that, ‘I want you to notice me today by doing some daft things’. I played with Grobbelaar, who was quite a unique character. He as well as being a fantastic goalkeeper, he liked to be in the limelight. I think maybe Jordan does the exact same.”
It’s an interesting alternative theory. Pickford is known to get his ‘rave on’ so there is a sense that he’s the kind of character who feels he gets the best from himself when he is the centre of attention and in the mix of everything, but again the truth remains the same. Goalkeepers mature and get better with age and experience and at his age, he shouldn’t be overly judged on errors, and nor overly praised. He has to find the middle ground himself if he’s to make the most of his obvious potential.