BBC Sport pundit Ian Wright has questioned Jordan Pickford’s attitude in training after the Everton goalkeeper’s error at home to Crystal Palace during our 3-1 win on Saturday.
Pickford allowed the Eagles to claw back into the match when Christian Benteke’s tame effort found a way in at the near post, but later atoned for his blunder by pulling off a strong reflex save to deny the Belgian from close range.
Failing to deal with Benteke’s strike along the floor rejuvenated the visitors, but Pickford was let off the hook when Richarlison waltzed through the Palace backline to restore our lead before Dominic Calvert-Lewin would seal the victory.
Pickford came out firing after the match by criticising some of the pundits who have questioned his performances, and stated that he attempted to deal with Benteke’s shot by leading with his hand though his foot remained planted in the ground.
Wright is not best pleased with Pickford for coming out swinging rather than accepting the comments on his displays, and has questioned whether the 6ft shot-stopper is putting in the right amount of effort in training.
“Who’s speaking to him?” Wright queried on BBC Radio 5 Live. “The way he has come out and said that, it just seems as though he’s deflecting rather than actually listening to what people are saying.
“How hard is he working in training, in respects of his goalkeeping? How come he didn’t try to save that [Benteke goal] with his feet? It is a worry, it’s a worry!
Should Ancelotti target a Pickford replacement in the summer?
“He seems to be angry and being very defensive and having a go back rather than trying to embrace the fact that ‘I’m still learning. That I am at a big club that’s going places. That’s I am still making mistakes and learning. I’m still England’s number one and going to get better’. That’s how you make people say ‘okay, I am going to see how he gets on from here’. But you’re not hearing that from him.”
Pickford will certainly need to be working on his footwork at Finch Farm to avoid a repeat blunder from occurring, and hopefully can take his error against Palace as something to learn from rather than just the public show of frustration at the criticism it sparked.
The 25-year-old has only kept a clean sheet in one of his last eight games in all competitions, and has now conceded 43 times in the 23 fixtures where he has failed to keep the opponent from scoring this season.
It is unlikely that boss Carlo Ancelotti will bench Pickford when we return from the winter break against Arsenal, though, as the Italian has a lack of serious alternatives to the England international.
Jonas Lossl has returned to Huddersfield Town on loan having failed to make a single outing after joining as a free agent, while Maarten Stekelenburg has only faced top-flight opposition once in the past two years.
In other Everton news, loads of fans have been reacting to a “dangerously arrogant” man’s claim.