Saturday’s defeat away to Newcastle was disappointing and Jordan Pickford is mostly to blame for that, but former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson still believes he is England’s number one, as reported by Sky Sports News.
The 25-year-old’s error-strewn game on Saturday cost us three valuable points, yet the 15-cap England international’s place in the side is hardly in doubt.
Marco Silva has placed a lot of faith in the goalkeeper, as he has no serious alternative to turn to, so will have to rely on his first-choice ‘keeper recovering the form that came through sporadically during the second Merseyside Derby.
But Pickford’s error against Liverpool earlier this season is believed to be the root cause of his lacklustre season, according to former England goalkeeper Robinson, who experienced his fair share of problems with form during his own career.
Speaking with Sky Sports News, he said: “Yes he is [still England’s number one], definitely. I don’t think he’s playing the best that he’s ever played, clearly, I don’t think he’s at the top of his game because he’s set himself such a high bar.
“I think he made an error in the Merseyside derby in November, and I think that impacted him a little bit. It was the first time he’d made a high-profile error, where people have actually started scrutinising him and are now watching him.
“A goalkeeper is all about confidence. When you make a mistake, or you have criticism leveled at you, you’ve got to be very strong. Little things, like someone saying something when you go behind the goal to pick up the ball, it makes you question yourself.
“I genuinely think he’s England’s No 1 goalkeeper at the moment. Is he the best in the Premier League? There are probably a few goalkeepers in better form than him at the moment. But is he England’s No 1 for the next internationals? Absolutely, yes he is. He’s earned that right.”
Claiming that Pickford remains one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League is rather incredible given his season so far, and you would find it hard to argue that our number one controls the area when the ball is in the air.
His praise, therefore, is purely down to his shot-stopping ability, which ultimately let him down at St James’ Park.