Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has come under scrutiny for his mistakes this season.
Gareth Southgate has defended Jordan Pickford and claimed that the Everton goalkeeper is a ‘fantastic’ player, as he told Sky Sports News (03/04/20).
Pickford has come under fire this season for his mistakes for Everton, but Southgate made it clear that it’s just a ‘reality’ for a goalkeeper, especially one who is an England international.
Over the weekend, Pickford was criticised for allowing Bruno Fernandes’ long-range effort to beat him at his near post, whilst in February, he allowed a tame Christian Benteke effort to sneak past him.
Ahead of the Euros, Southgate, who is a key figure as to whether Pickford will remain England’s number one, commented on his character and seemingly defended his player.
“I think the reality is that when you are a goalkeeper, mistakes will happen and people will shine a light on those,” Southgate told Sky Sports.
“If you are the England goalkeeper, as he’s been and is, that is going to attract more attention. You are always in the spotlight. I know he mentioned that. It’s the reality of the position.
“But he has been a fantastic player for us. He has been a key part of our success over the last three years. And it’s good that we have competition for places in that position because that, in the end, will push all of them on to a higher level.
On how he bounces back from his errors knowing his character: “Well, that’s normally very good. I would have to say, he manages to brush things off. That is key for any player – He has been through all of that before. He knows what’s needed and required, and I am sure he will do that.”
If Pickford’s error-prone ways continue then it’ll only increase the calls for him to be dropped and replaced by either a Nick Pope or Dean Henderson.
The fact that the Everton man has two keepers breathing down his neck might help because it might push him that little bit more as he aims to brush off those who don’t want him to be England’s main man this summer.
But Pickford’s performances on the international stage, his distribution, experience, and performances at the last World Cup do fall in his favour.