The £30m acquisition from Sunderland had enjoyed a fairly comfortable evening against the Swedes' U21s until he watched Pawel Cibicki's shot rattle off his crossbar and then saw new Goodison team-mate Mason Holgate pull off a terrific saving tackle.
He was put to the test with 10 minutes to go, though, when Sweden were awarded a penalty but he wasn't fooled when Linus Wahlqvist's tried to beat him with a spot kick straight down the middle, batting the ball away with a strong right hand.
The game ended 0-0 and England will now face Slovakia on Monday.
Reader Comments (18)
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1 Posted 16/06/2017 at 18:40:35
Although on his knees, Pickford stuck up his right mitt to keep the ball out and easily gathered in the follow up.
2 Posted 16/06/2017 at 19:14:26
In terms of Holgate, steady as usual and that one terrific saving tackle... but definitely needs to work on his crossing when he gets forward.
3 Posted 16/06/2017 at 19:53:21
4 Posted 16/06/2017 at 20:56:29
Brian, should we sell him next season, or do you see some small hope?
5 Posted 16/06/2017 at 21:11:40
"I just waited a bit longer, held my ground, dived to the left and got my top hand to it. It's what you do,'' he told Sky Sports.
No mucking about â€“ that was the job: job done! If that's his attitude all-round, he'll do for me!
6 Posted 16/06/2017 at 21:35:47
Pickford held his nerve and saved the penalty, didn't have much to do, dropped a centre that should have been a routine save. He seems a confidant lad giving loads of instructions to his defenders, hard to judge him on 45 minutes.
Holgate made a great tackle stopping a Swedish striker with a clean run on goal. England were poor on the attack and Sweden had most of the game I saw without giving Pickford a lot to do, apart from one shot that hit the bar with the keeper well beaten.
7 Posted 16/06/2017 at 21:46:26
England were totally dominant in the first half-hour and Sweden could barely get out of their half. Holgate was prominent down the right but, as we've seen, overhit pretty much all of his crosses. He was otherwise solid defensively, both with his tackling and speed of recovery.
Pickford didn't have a save to make in the 1st half, but twice he quickly gathered the ball in and once kicked long and accurately, the second time a quick, flat and speedy throw out to swiftly put England on the front foot each time.
By half-time Sweden pushed out more and had parity without really threatening the England goal.
England never regained their opening initiative in the 2nd half and Sweden were probably the better of the two without ever really testing Pickford.
I thought the penalty decision was an awful one. The lad cleanly won the ball without raising his foot. Video referral would surely have overturned the ref's ruling.
The penalty kick was awful, but it still has to be saved and Pickford did that. As you and others mentioned, he did flap at a routine cross he should have easily gathered in, but no harm came from it.
The U-20 games offered far more entertainment and interest.
9 Posted 16/06/2017 at 23:12:59
What's wrong with side-to-side crab and backwards football.
More of it, I say! ;-)
10 Posted 17/06/2017 at 03:19:11
Jay's description of the game was accurate. England 1st half, stuttered through the 2nd, Sweden better.
As for Pickford, (cross aside) he was steady, even the penalty save was regulation, as was the follow-up.
Good presence and his trademark distribution evident.
Holgate can't cross but, then again, he is a centre-half. Not very impressed with any of the others, bar Abrahams looked lively.
11 Posted 17/06/2017 at 04:08:20
I notice the press starting to put pressure on Pickford and referring to him as the £30 million goal-keeper. There will be many (non Evertonians) who will dissect his every action and gleefully highlight his every mistake.
Evertonians need to get behind him, keep expectations realistic especially in the first season. Even De Gea did not really impress in his first season at Man United, and then gradually improved to become one of the best in the world. Pickford will need time and patience, and fortunately he will play in front of one of the most knowledgeable supporters in the game!
12 Posted 17/06/2017 at 06:25:52
Some of the U21s looked lethargic and gave me the impression they were just meeting for the first time. No great hopes of them completing a double for England, but hope they can prove me wrong.
13 Posted 17/06/2017 at 07:23:04
As others have said, Holgate had a lot to do down his side and defended very well, but let himself down with his crossing.
14 Posted 17/06/2017 at 07:47:37
God almighty, Dignitas is finished, come on here if you want to end it all death is a blessed relief after reading a few threads.
I'll bet anyone a Thousand Tramadol to a couple of drops of cyanide that he is Everton's first choice goalie next season.
15 Posted 17/06/2017 at 10:38:31
17 Posted 17/06/2017 at 15:24:23
I hope he is even half as good as the best goalie ever to pull the Everton shirt on. I think he is a similar kind of goalie too. Throw his body at anything.
18 Posted 17/06/2017 at 15:33:27
To answer your question, England played a flat back four and Holgate played right back, exactly as Koeman has pretty much played him all season.
More than one seasoned coach not yet willing to play him at centre back just yet then.
He had a good game, but his crossing as ever was poor, as was Chilwell's on the other flank from left back.
19 Posted 17/06/2017 at 15:48:48
20 Posted 17/06/2017 at 16:14:09
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