Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has come under criticism this season for his inconsistencies, but he has managed to retain his place in manager Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for the Three Lions, playing in Friday’s 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic.
The 25-year-old is expected to be in goal again against Montenegro on Monday as England look to make it two wins in as many Euros 2020 qualifying games, and Toffees manager Marco Silva will hope he can return to Goodison Park full of confidence and in top form for the business end of the season.
Pickford, who has shipped 42 league goals in 31 appearances and committed the most errors leading to goals (four) this season was particularly poor in Everton’s losses to Liverpool (at Anfield) and Newcastle United (at Saint James’ Park), and former Arsenal star Perry Groves believes staying away from social media after games could do him some good.
“He said he is one of few players, soon as the game has finished, within five minutes he is straight on his phone looking at Tweets to see what people say,” Groves said on talkSPORT.
“If that didn’t bother you, why are you going straight on it. It cannot be constructive, it cannot help your confidence. Because he hasn’t been playing very well. My advice for him will be, leave that completely until at least the next day when your emotions have settled out completely.”
“He is bothering about what people are saying about him because you wouldn’t read otherwise.”
“Pickford says after a game he’s straight on his phone looking at tweets.”
“He should leave it. It can’t help when you’re not playing well.” ?
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 22, 2019
Pickford hasn’t been bad all through the campaign, though, as he has kept nine clean sheets – a return only bettered by Liverpool’s Alisson (17) Manchester City’s Ederson (14) and Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga (11) – made 85 saves, and saved the most penalties (three).
Nevertheless, the Everton star hasn’t been as excellent as he was at the World Cup in Russia, showing just flashes of his talent.
He can, however, redeem himself in the last seven league games of the campaign by helping the Merseyside outfit finish in seventh place and qualify for next season’s Europa League.