The 25-year-old's cocksure attitude has been lauded as one of his strengths but it has bordered on misplaced arrogance at times this season and it's a trait that is becoming a liability.
It’s often said that it takes a special breed to be a goalkeeper and that some of the best have a mad streak in them that makes them perform feats that most players cannot. Among the pantheon of Goodison greats, Neville Southall was among some of the more eccentric to have ever pulled on an Everton jersey but whatever set him apart psychologically from all the keepers of his day that he eclipsed, he usually channelled it into mind-boggling brilliance on the field rather than madcap risk-taking and clownery.
Jordan Pickford would do well to take a leaf out of Southall’s book as he — hopefully — takes stock of his performance at Newcastle yesterday, one that stands out as his worst since joining Everton 18 months ago. That it was also peppered with a couple of outstanding moments to go with the errors, was, perhaps, also a neat summation of the current incumbent between the Toffees’ goalposts.
Blessed with undoubted talent, the Washington-born stopper has the ability to become one of the world’s best goalkeepers, a fact reflected in the Blues shelling out £30m for his services and by Garett Southgate installing him as England’s first-choice goalkeeper at age 24 for a run that took the Three Lions all the way to the World Cup semi-finals last summer.
He has also been largely consistent, saved plenty of points on his own and had some phenomenal moments in his comparatively short time at Everton and will, no doubt, continue to do so.
What he currently lacks, however, is the maturity to reach the elite level and there have been suspicions this season that Pickford’s exploits in Russia, which included penalty shootout heroics against Colombia in the round of 16 and, arguably, one of the most under-appreciated saves in the history of the tournament in the same game, went to his head somewhat.
In some respects, that cocksure, unfazed attitude has been lauded as one of his strengths and, in a high-stakes era when so few players play with a smile on their face, he can bring some much-needed levity but it has bordered on misplaced arrogance at times this season and it's a trait that can quickly become a liability.
His stoppage-time calamity in the Anfield derby where that cockiness was the direct cause of Everton suffering a hugely psychologically damaging defeat should have been the nadir of Pickford’s season. His first mistake was not to own the error — rather than admit he had tried to catch the ball, he tried to pass it off as an attempt to push it over the crossbar (which he should have done but didn't) — but his lapses in yesterday’s game show that he hasn’t learned.
Against Newcastle, he allowed the occasion to get the better of him; barracked by the Barcodes’ fans because of his Mackem past, Pickford played up to the role of pantomime villain with fist-pumps to the stands after escaping a red card for pulling down Salomon Rondon and saving the resulting penalty, then stuck his tongue out to the television cameras following a let-off when he was caught too far off his goal line and Rondon just missed punishing him for it.
That impudence didn’t end up costing Everton on that occasion but it was an error in judgement of a cross that led to penalty incident in the first place and his apparent refusal to simply push Miguel Almiron’s swerving drive over his crossbar or away to the side led to him parrying the ball straight back into the danger zone in front of goal where, as well know too well, his defenders are usually negligent in following up to claim any second ball. Ayoze Perez, meanwhile, did his job and was rewarded with a routine finish that cancelled out the Blues’ 2-0 advantage.
That the error that ruined what should have been a hard-fought goalless draw against Liverpool last December is being repeated casts doubt on Pickford’s development but it is also a serious knock against Everton’s coaching staff. It behooves the manager and the club’s goalkeeping coach to impress upon the player the need to keep things simple; to insist that safety-first be the mantra rather than trying to pad one’s goalkeeping resume with difficult feats. That his excesses aren’t being curbed does not reflect well on Marco Silva.
Perhaps because he lacks height — he is the same height as Southall — Pickford appears to have been instructed to stay on his line at set-pieces wherever possible rather that dominating his six-yard box and that, too, is contributing to the team’s infamous vulnerability from dead-ball situations. (Is it short-term-ism or was he better about trying to claim crosses under Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce?)
It used to be said that keepers don't usually mature until they are around 30 but that seems to be changing these days. David de Gea, for one, was winning Manchester United’s Player of the Year award at age 24 and has excelled at a consistent level for years; Manuel Neuer has been at the top of the game since his mid-20s as well; Marc-André ter Stegen, Jan Oblak and Alisson Becker are only a year older than Pickford and Ederson is the same age, 25.
The truth is that Pickford cannot point to age as an excuse; he has to curtail the riskier elements of his game or he faces losing not only his place in the Everton side but his first-choice status with his country as well. Joe Hart’s days as England’s number one were numbered as soon as it became apparent that he was unreliable and Pickford must work to ensure he doesn’t go the same way.
Jordan is a better goalkeeper than Hart and, on his day, arguably one of the best in the Premier League but, as it currently stands, he is the top-flight goalkeeper responsible for more errors leading to goals than any other. That has led to calls from some frustrated fans for him to be cast off and sold this summer, but while a game or two on the bench for club or country wouldn't do him any harm, it is massively premature to be writing him off so soon.
Pickford has the ability; now he needs to grow up. It’s all there in his arsenal, but if he can’t maintain his discipline, he will lose his defenders’ faith and, ultimately, that of the manager and the fans.
Reader Comments (107)
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1 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:31:11
Needs to work on his attitude, that is for sure! Obviously gets my full support as an Everton player but he can be hard to take to at times!
2 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:46:13
3 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:52:49
Too short for today's era;
Too small (he has no presence);
Awful distribution (was supposed to be a strength!!!);
Doesn't give confidence to his defenders;
Doesn't give confidence to the fans;
I genuinely think the guy is super overrated
He makes some brilliant saves now and then – no doubt. But the overall package isn't good enough. It's probably why he's here.
4 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:56:06
Hart, Sprake, Wood, Bonetti, Corrigan and others. Good shot-stoppers who will cost you a big game. Because they lack assurance. They just do not have the calmness, the assurance, the control that the top ones have.
Pat Jennings, I guess, would just smile and shake his head at the histrionics of Pickford. He didn't need to do that sort of stuff; he just kept goal, really well.
5 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:00:41
It is arguable that Man City's best passer is actually their goalie. Both teams have greatly benefitted defensively from their goalies. Can we honestly say Pickford is in the same level as these two? In my opinion no chance.
If it is true that Pickford has been told to stay on his line, then that in itself is a dereliction of duty by Silva and as his defenders and his defensive tactics are so pathetic, is in itself a sackable offence!
I think Pickford, like others, will want glory and honours and doubt he'll be with us long. Personally, I won't miss him and only hope by the time he decides to move on, his fee will at least get us back what we paid for him. Another overrated overpaid signing.
6 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:04:56
Hart has plenty of caps (75) for his country. He is far better and being taller with longer arms, he can command his box and his extra reach gives him the edge too.
Pickford could iron out his deficiencies but the first step is his goalkeeping coach identifying them.
His personality needs to be used to help the team, with his positive energy and fearlessness. At the moment, he is a negative influence, unnerving his mates and his eagerness to be the centre of attention is his biggest problem.
7 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:12:25
Pickford was directly behind him. He, in contrast to Coleman could not stand still. He was looking everywhere to see who was looking at him. His attitude was the absolute antithesis of what a player entering the arena should be doing.
I was tempted to post in this vein, but his performance yesterday simply confirmed my opinion of him. He is a fool who cannot concentrate or focus on his job and is a serious liability because he is so easily distracted. But you know this already...
8 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:23:55
9 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:27:09
It's been said before but if I was a centre-half I wouldn't have a clue if he was coming out to claim a cross or if I should take responsibility for it. No wonder we're such a mess at the back.
Pundits talk about an 'area of uncertainty' when a great cross is delivered into the box just ahead of the 6-yard line. Our area of uncertainty goes from the goal line to the penalty spot.
10 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:28:36
Richarlison's continual diving on the floor have become a ridiculous feature for a while now, presumably sanctioned by Silva. What kind of message does this behaviour send out other than weak management?
11 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:29:53
Didn't strike me as being wired right. I'm not prone to violence at any time but I actually felt like slapping him repeatedly... Thought there and then, "I hope Silva drops you and brings this kid Virginia." But I just know he won't....
12 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:32:26
Richarlison is just a sulky kid.
13 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:38:47
He is a good shot-stopper, however, he continually kicks goal kicks and drop/distribution kicks out of play.
He has an ego bigger than his ability, and needs to calm down and knuckle under.
Keep him by all means but he needs bringing down a peg or two. Regardless of Big Nev's failings, 5 minutes behind the bike shed would put this young man straight!!!
14 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:49:28
15 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:51:23
It's unfair of you or I to diagnose Pickford with a mental disorder, but I have to agree that there is something very unusual about his demeanour.
Even talking to camera, he is always moving about and wiping his face on his sleeves and shoulders. He's like a kid who cannot sit still. All these traits are represented in his goalkeeping style also. He's like a coiled spring. He's going to go off, but you don't know when or where.
I'd rather have a completely average Begovic type than this unpredictable nightmare in net.
I'd send Pickford out on loan to Germany or somewhere. He needs to learn his place in the world and grow into himself.
16 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:53:12
The header picture of Pickford says it all.
Sorry I dont know Peter Price.
17 Posted 10/03/2019 at 21:57:55
To me Clough and Taylor's teams played superb football but Ol' Big 'Ed couldn't stress enough the need to make the defence as tight as possible, starting with the goalie. He said when he got to Leeds he immediately wanted to replace David Harvey with Shilton, but they wouldn't have it. He got him to Forest though and the rest, as they say, is history.
Pickford needs to improve quickly for sure but I really do wonder why so many of our signings all seem to be so very weak in terms of physicality, mentality, or both.
18 Posted 10/03/2019 at 22:00:35
Dare I also mention those head-scratching Hollywood kicks out into touch? His only communication with our defenders appears to be to tell people to fuck off.
Better, safer, more mentally stable and reliable options are out there. Next season he either calms down and improves or we get rid of this village idiot.
19 Posted 10/03/2019 at 22:17:16
20 Posted 10/03/2019 at 22:21:28
21 Posted 10/03/2019 at 22:31:26
None of the big clubs will be interested in signing him. Unfortunately.
22 Posted 10/03/2019 at 22:34:59
23 Posted 10/03/2019 at 22:41:16
However, he is a talented goalkeeper, and he comes across to me as a decent guy. He clearly has some flaws in his game, and some traits in his personality, which need working on. He should be nurtured and coached and he, too, should work hard to fulfill his potential.
24 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:03:46
An issue I have is that the clowning around and the mistakes are very regular. Pickford has cost us more points than he has saved so far this season – surely a yardstick for any keeper to be judged against. It seems from that the goalkeeping coaches are no more effective than the outfield player coaches.
25 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:11:57
I think you are being too kind there. Pickford cant even get the basics right consistently.
Why does he always push the ball back into play instead of putting it out of the danger zone?
Why does he come for a ball that the defender has covered causing confusion and errors?
Why does he treat the game as a huge joke even after calamitous errors?
He needs an hour or two with Big Nev – not to coach anything, just to straighten him out.
26 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:14:40
Drop him, Silva. He believes his own hype.
27 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:19:23
I would ask one question: since we bought Pickford, how have we performed? Koeman lost his job; Rhino didn't get appointed; Big Sam got us over the line; and now, Silva is likely to go. In all cases, defensively we are a mess – despite trying many combinations. The one common denominator in all those combinations is Pickford. Also, don't forget he was Sunderland's goalkeeper when they went down. Coincidence??
Remember last season, Pickford was acting the clown when he clattered into Ashley Williams – and how many goals did we concede from balls parried into play from Pickford's “saves”.
He has only one attribute: he is a good shot-stopper but he lacks all the other qualities a modern goalkeeper needs.
1. Doesn't hold shots or crosses... too often parries back into play;
2. Doesn't command his 6-yard box, hence we are brutal at set pieces;
3. Can't pass the ball — how often does he either put a defender under pressure or kick the ball straight out of play?
4. Doesn't take responsibility; his rationale for the error at Anfield was not credible.
5. He is not a leader or organiser of the defence which is essential for all great keepers.
It is time he was dropped. After all, everybody else has been... so let's see if this gives us more stability.
28 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:33:53
Pickford spent last summer at the World Cup. He should spend this summer in a keepers basic training, getting his shit together under a new goalkeeping coach (whatever Hugo Oliviera is telling him obviously isn't working), and I would give him one more season to become a top-class pro. Keepers do mature later than other players, but this one is overdue.
29 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:39:23
I know that..supporters know that... Mr Cheeks (my cat) knows that... MotD and other pundits (all season) know that... fans throughout the land know that... then why the fuck do the Everton management NOT know that??? ... ffs
30 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:49:06
It feels more like his confidence is viewed as an asset when things are going well and a liability when they are not but in both cases I would say the ability to resist a negative reaction to negative incidents is the important trait and he seems to possess that.
Yes, it might be a bit annoying that he doesn't seem phased by cock-ups but I'd rather that was the case than he turned in to a nervous wreck following a calamity as some (Karius?) have.
He has some technical elements of his game to improve but let's not just make the assumption that because he's cocksure means he's complacent. It might be true but this piece doesn't provide any evidence of it.
To Neil's 5 points above. Yes, they are accurate observations but he's also in his early 20s.
31 Posted 10/03/2019 at 00:01:27
Whoever is coaching Pickford is doing a poor job. Unfortunately, this could be said of other areas of the team.
32 Posted 11/03/2019 at 00:15:40
Defences respond well to having confidence in their keeper. Of course, it can be the other way round, too! But I, for one, wonder if our defence would be better with a change in keeper?????
Was Southgate watching at Newcastle? Seems Pickford plays at his worst for us when Southgate is in the stands!!
33 Posted 11/03/2019 at 00:19:37
I followed him very closely at Sunderland, as I was always keen to see how Moyes got on, and he played a huge role in getting them relegated at the bottom of the league by around 9 points! He made huge mistakes that season.
Look how few clean sheets we keep even with defensive managers like Allardyce. It's impossible to build any momentum as a team with a keeper who lets in so many goals that most keepers would save. This drains the team and the fans of confidence and belief and we'll never sustain a run of results.
He needs dropping and selling asap although I can't see anyone coming in for him – never mind recouping any of the £30million! It really is a depressing situation as, with him between the sticks, we are destined for more mediocrity.
34 Posted 11/03/2019 at 00:31:54
He needs to be dropped for the next couple of matches at least. Give Stekelenburg a game or the young Portuguese lad, who cares? But to keep selecting a player who keeps making these mistakes is going to compound the issue, not fix it.
Marcus Taylor, I don't tend to watch club media like you described, so if that's true about Pickford drinking Red Bull then I'm prepared to write him off as an athlete and as a person. That shit is alien piss and a talisman for morons. If I were a manager/coach and saw one of my players drinking that shit, he'd be training on his own until it was out of his system.
35 Posted 11/03/2019 at 01:46:21
We can neither attract nor afford an Allison and he has also acted like a clown on one occasion in particular. Pickford is the best we can do for now so we have to work with him.
I am also old enough to remember Big Nev getting slaughtered at Goodison.
36 Posted 11/03/2019 at 02:39:19
Those who say he is too small, lazy and not really relevant. Smaller keepers in general have better footwork, through necessity and it translates to better agility. All very positive qualities. In fact, I'd say only Oblack and De Gea of the bean pole variety have top footwork.
He must work on the rebound control, his hands look as hard as concrete when the ball hits them. He goes at the ball, rather than letting it hit him.
His biggest concern is his ability to remain calm and read the game, this is ball game for a keeper. The truism for me it is the shots he doesn't save are the ones that I study. We're he's read the play, positioned himself well and judged the shot without a comic dive.
Without that temperament you unsettle defenders, often he intervenes unnecessarily, striking at the notion he wants too much to be involved. If he can curb those instincts then he'll be fine. But he's attracted enough negative attention that he really needs to show his worth.
37 Posted 11/03/2019 at 03:14:57
38 Posted 11/03/2019 at 05:00:53
No, he's not too small. He's the same size as the late Gordon Banks, Claudio Bravo, Iker Casillas, Navas, Schmeichel, Jan Oblak – the list goes on and on. He doesn't assert well and makes bad judgments on high balls, but that has nothing to do with his height.
No, he is not a "keeper who lets in so many goals that most keepers would save." On the contrary, he makes saves that most keepers can't. And no, he doesn't have "slow reaction time" – he has some of the quickest reflexes of any keeper in the world.
Pickford has lots and lots of failings – his hands, his composure, his command. You've actually criticized his strengths.
John P #36, Oblak isn't one of the beanpoles, he's actually the same size as Pickford. He just plays a whole lot bigger. And you're right, his footwork makes him one of the best in the world right now.
39 Posted 11/03/2019 at 05:34:46
Shilton may well have played until he was 40 and had a record number of international appearances but he too was more than capable of mistakes. I remember at Goodison when Everton laced Leicester 7-1, I think it was, and Shilton was down for at least 3 of the goals. One he threw out to Gerry Humphries who promptly hit back passed him from 30 yards (pre-metric) and misjudging an Alan Ball cross into the top far corner.
Also, I think keepers from previous eras had it easier as they didn't have a ball which starts in the direction of one side and then veers into the other side of the goal.
Pickford is a young, top class keeper and, yes, he does make mistakes which should have been picked up by the Manager and his staff and corrected, at least he doesn't go sliding around on his knees or tries stopping low shots with an outstretched leg which should only be a last, desperate option rather than being in a crouched position to be able to use his hands and change direction.
He does make some errors with his kicking and distribution and having been found out having central defenders short on either side of the penalty box we seem to have gone to having three forward players just over halfway on the touchline on either side who appear to be his only option. That appears to have been a decision of the Manager rather than the choice of the keeper but I don't know that for a fact.
As for England's No 1, and there is a shortage of English keepers who are becoming as rare as good Scottish keepers, his only challenger seems to be young Pope at Burnley. Whatever happened to the days when most of the old 1st Division keepers would walk into almost any team anywhere in the world?
Whatever, for me, after a word from a respected manager, I don't see anything that shouldn't be quite easily corrected even if it begins with agreeing with his central defenders what he will come for and what he expects them to deal with remembering that it is not only if it is in the 6-yard box but also the pace with which the cross is delivered, it is pointless coming for a cross if a challenged header ends up just being a powderpuff effort.
40 Posted 11/03/2019 at 06:13:57
He was also unfazed at the outcry at the risky behaviour that got him into trouble in a subsequent England game but the point I was making is that, if he doesn't learn to control those impulses and doesn't learn from the mistakes that he makes, there is a degree of arrogance in that that's going to cost him, Everton and England in future.
The playing up to the Newcastle crowd gave the impression that he lacked the necessary focus and that perhaps manifested itself in the blunder that led to the penalty.
He has time to mature, of course, but what I saw in the incident at Newcastle for their second goal reminded me of the mistake at Anfield where he tried to catch a really difficult ball over his crossbar and ended up dropping it. On Saturday, he appeared to believe he could parry Miguel Almiron's shot (which was a beast of an effort) and then gather it before an opposition player could get it and failed. Sometimes, you have to keep it simple and parry it away for a corner and if he isn't learning that, it's either a failure of coaching, over-confidence on his part, or both.
41 Posted 11/03/2019 at 08:36:40
West was partial to winding up the crowd but was able to keep his focus better until a European Cup match against Keflavik which we won something like 6-2 but Gordon gave away a goal or two, had a row with the Street End and was never the same again.
Jordan is only young but the manager has to get a grip of him quickly. Whilst he is at it he also has to tell Richi to act like a man on the pitch and focus on his game.
A few others need some stern words of guidance too from our so-called great coach before he finds it's too late to show us why Moshiri was so keen on him.
42 Posted 11/03/2019 at 08:36:57
Does everything in some kind of high rush mode, from erratic inconsistent kicking of the ball out of play, to stupid rushes of blood to the head (decapitation of Kurt Zouma v Spurs).
The crazy madcap error at Anfield in December pretty much summed up what Pickford is all about right now.
43 Posted 11/03/2019 at 09:00:36
Dave @41; we did have a decent replacement in Andy Rankin.
I would drop him and also get a better coach... one for the keeper too.
44 Posted 11/03/2019 at 09:12:34
You are correct Westy made a mistake which cost Everton a goal, he was then jeered and booed by quite a lot of Everton fans that night.
Gordon didn't argue with them but went and stood by the penalty spot whenever Everton attacked, he was that disgusted with the crowd and so was I, the fans in Gwladys Street stunk that night.
45 Posted 11/03/2019 at 09:13:17
The second issue is the set-up of the defence. The best goalkeepers have presence and dominate their box. This is doubly important as Silva appears reluctant to play the same back three, four, or five in consecutive games. If Pickford can't/won't come for crosses and dominate the box, he should be replaced by someone who will.
I don't think Pickford is confident, cocky or arrogant. He's a talented, nervous young man who displays a complete lack of conviction in his game. That lack of conviction runs through this team and management like the word in a stick of rock.
He, and they, need to find some very soon.
46 Posted 11/03/2019 at 09:23:24
47 Posted 11/03/2019 at 10:12:06
Sad to say I have seen this happen with so many players over the years. Once it does, it's very hard for a player to get the fans off his back.
With this in mind, surely it's better to take him out of the firing line immediately and iron out, if possible, the flaws in his game on the training ground to hopefully restore his confidence.
I believe this super confident keeper business is all a charade on his part to mask his lack of self-belief. That certainly seems to be the case where his inability to cope with high balls is concerned.
My choice would be to blood young Virginia and see what he's got. We have little to lose, as a relegation battle is unlikely and there is nothing else trophy-wise to play for this season.
Stekelenburg has been tried and inspires little. Personally, I think he should have been sold and Robles retained as second-choice keeper.
48 Posted 11/03/2019 at 10:29:41
49 Posted 11/03/2019 at 11:34:18
That first cross gaff on Saturday, Stan Laurelesque, summed up his day. And if there's a decent captain on the park, he'd be having some words too.
Unforced errors in football cost games and sadly this season for Everton, the goal keeper and many of this team, have made any good consistency impossible.
Well, let's see what Chelsea will turn up next Sunday.
50 Posted 11/03/2019 at 12:18:43
Too often, he does the hard things right and the easy things wrong. I think he was at fault for the goals against Newcastle, Man City away, Liverpool away, and obviously more this season but they are the ones I remember. I hate this attitude, I hate his awful fumbling and handling of the ball...
I just can't fathom how he's our Number One, let along England's! I would honestly take goalkeepers like Ben Foster, Tom Heaton... ffs – I would even have John Ruddy back over him. Just keepers that do the right thing.
51 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:15:27
"Gordon West's nickname was Dracula due to his failure to come off his line to catch crosses."
Not having that at all. Maybe it's a family relationship I have to Gordon that drives me to defend him, but I say:
1) Don't recall Westy being labelled with the Dracula moniker, because...
2) He was both fearless and reliable in coming out to claim the high ball.
What Gordon had, far superior to Pickford's 'acclaimed' distribution, was excellent rapid and accurate distribution, mostly with an overarm throw beyond the half-way line.
52 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:18:46
53 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:32:15
In fact, Brian Labone used to take some of the goal kicks, so I'm not sure throwing the ball was a regular feature of Gordon's game before and after that injury.
55 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:40:27
57 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:55:36
He is no Southall, Banks, Jennings et alia. Men whose calm demeanour inspired their defence and whose reading of the game was such that diving for the ball was a rarity.
58 Posted 11/03/2019 at 15:59:47
I remember Brian Labone taking the goal kicks, and I remember his long throws, together with a lot of keepers who threw a long ball.
I genuinely can't recall Pickford throwing a ball anywhere near the half way line.
My problem with Pickford is his immaturity, he really needs to knuckle down.
I think Wolves will take 7th spot, so let's see what Virginia has in his locker.
If Southgate keeps him as England's Number 1 keeper after recent events, he will never learn.
I'm not advocating getting rid, as some TW's are suggesting, but someone needs to sit him down and tell him his fortune. If not big Nev, Gordon Ramsey — he wouldn't pull his punches!!!!
59 Posted 11/03/2019 at 16:01:37
Pretty fair comparison I'd agree, Pickford and Howard very similar.
Howard started off decent but went into decline over his last four years and I always referred to him as a Jack in the Box, he couldn't keep still and many a time ended up in the back of the net before the ball crossed the line even, a player who seemed at times to need a compass to know where he was on the pitch.
Pickford displays many similarities as Howard, makes some fine saves but you feel like there's just some kamikaze moment waiting to go off just around the corner.
60 Posted 11/03/2019 at 16:08:24
Thank you of reminding me of Gordon West, A good goalkeeper who was sometimes unpredictable, but was always photogenic.
61 Posted 11/03/2019 at 16:47:41
Watch the goal he lets in on his Sunderland debut (away at Southampton) that cost them the game. I can list many more examples from that season.
His performance in the World Cup was very overstated. Following the Belgium group defeat, he was being heavily criticised and Butland was being touted as replacing him.
I don't see the strengths you see — I fear you have been bamboozled by his Hollywood save antics. You list smaller keepers from previous generations, like Shilton, but the game has changed, plus your examples of Bravo and Casillas either failed in British football or never tasted it.
To survive as a small keeper, you need fantastic positional sense to make up for your disadvantage in size. Pickford's positioning is poor, partly shown by his inability to command his area, as you acknowledge.
Unfortunately, I can't see how he can correct so many flaws and the inevitable conclusion will be, if he stays as our Number 1, more mistakes, more goals conceded, fewer wins and ultimately the crowd turning on him to the point of no return.
62 Posted 11/03/2019 at 16:48:19
Jay, he was nicknamed Dracula in the gang I hung around with in schooldays on the Wirral at least and I can remember him punching an awful lot more than catching.
There was a view also published in the Echo that he wasn't fond of physical contact in his area and I remember an FA Cup game against Southport where they had a very big front three of Eric Redrobe, Terry Harkin and another guy whose name escapes me and the story ran that they were going to rough Gordon up because he wasn't keen on the physical stuff. He developed a trick of falling to ground when faced with them and he won a free kick most of the time.
That said I think he knocked out Albert Bennet of Newcastle with a punch and was sent off so clearly not that shy of the hard stuff.
Don't get me wrong, Jay, I thought he was great and, at his peak, a far better goalie than any I have seen at Everton apart from Neville. Pickford has a way to go before he is as good as Gordon West.
63 Posted 11/03/2019 at 18:58:46
He does come across as being too cocky on the pitch but not (or at least to me) when being interviewed. I was at the game on Saturday and thought he was revelling in the abuse being hurled by the home support and again, almost as if to say "You will never score past me."
I agree with those saying he needs to be dropped and coached better but I don't think we should consider selling him or at least not yet. He definitely needs to stop the antics in the pitch though. It was interesting to see that (as far as I could tell) only Zouma can over to congratulate him for saving the penalty. Maybe he is pissing off his team mates?
64 Posted 11/03/2019 at 19:17:53
On Saturday, I noticed a shot came in from Pickford's right on a tight angle, Pickford saved it comfortably, he actually didn't need to move, but as he batted it away for a corner his movement was strange, he did a weird jump. He is like a coiled spring, overactive and frustrated at a lack of involvement. I think he has problems concentrating.
Perhaps the right coaching could help him but even MotD pundits were questioning his place in the England team, and Ian Wright suggested he had noticed Pickford's tendency to bat the ball back from where it came.
Personally, I hope he gets help, but I fear he is just dumb.
65 Posted 11/03/2019 at 19:43:06
I didn't mention Shilton. In addition to Gordon, I listed Bravo, Casillas, Navas, Schmeichel and Oblak. Schmeichel had more than a taste of British football, he won a Premier League title. Navas has won three Champions League titles. Casillas is simply one of the top five keepers in the history of the game and still getting it done at 37. All are the same size as Pickford.
And no, I haven't been "bamboozled"... I've been playing, refereeing, coaching and watching footy for a half-century, and I know what I'm seeing. Pickford is a spectacular shot-stopper who actually positions himself very, very well -- for shots. He has no such ability for high balls and lacks great hands. But he can definitely make saves.
66 Posted 11/03/2019 at 22:00:18
I'm cutting and pasting remarks from other posts here, on this thread, as it seems more relevant. If I've created more work for the powers-that-be on TW, apologies.
This vilification of Jordan Pickford borders on ridiculous.
It's clear to me we're witnessing a "TW Mob Mentality Syndrome" with Jordan.
Pickford is 25 years old, and he's between the sticks against his craddle-born, native arch-enemy in Newcastle.
The kid is hyped up beyond belief, he wants to win so bad against "that lot". He probably had enough adrenaline coursing through his veins to kill a small farm animal.
Does he need to mature and focus on the game? Of course. But is it somewhat understandable for him to get a bit carried away? I'd argue yes.
I'd prefer to see someone on the field acting immature because he'd rather walk through hell in a gasoline suit than lose. That's what I saw. He simply didn't want to lose to "that lot". He got carried away a bit, but it was getting carried away in a hyper-competitive manner.
I don't see his "antics" as some massive, snatching-loss-from-victory, as others have. My finger is pointed squarely at Marco for the loss to Newcastle. I'm not as bothered by Jordan acting passionately, albeit immaturely, as most.
He needs to grow up a bit when he feels that emotional tidal wave coming. He will. In the meantime, I'd suggest that, despite his flaws – and there are a few to be sure as his distribution sends me over the edge at times – he's a good, good young keeper.
He's got another 15 years possibly at the highest level. Keepers can play well into their late 30s and can hit 40 and still perform. I for one hope he plays for the next 15 years, ages, matures, and improves during his career... With us.
He's an outstanding shot-stopper and, for me, that's the most important thing. The gray matter between his ears, the commanding his area, the distribution, all of it, can and will improve.
For all his "mistakes" that Jordan makes, how many goals has he saved us conceding?
I don't have the time or patience to go back and review game film and come up with a number, but my guess is the litany of times he's saved our bacon due to defensive gaffs not of his doing, far, far outweighs goals you can blame him for directly.
We have a really, really raw, good young keeper. Despite being in the Lenten season, can we please stop with the Crucifixion? I honestly can not believe the number of comments slating this kid.
67 Posted 11/03/2019 at 23:04:46
You are getting desperate now, a player's playing history and what he did 2 seasons ago is irrelevant!!? Ha ha. All the keepers you mentioned played in Spain where the physical aspects of keeping are less, plus they had very little to do as they played for the top teams!
You may think “you know what you see” but that's what happens when you've been “bamboozled”! 😉
68 Posted 11/03/2019 at 23:12:17
You have made a valid point. I certainly don't want the crowd to turn on Pickford, it disgusts me when that happens with any player suffering form problems. That is precisely why I suggested in an earlier post that he ought to be rested.
Some healthy competition can only be good for him and, let's face it, as our season is as good as over with little at stake, it is an ideal opportunity to see the well regarded Virgiia in first-team action.
However, even when people were raving about Pickford after his World Cup run, in all honesty I was still unconvinced and was one of the very few Evertonians advocating his sale, especially when it was rumoured that Man Utd were interested in him.
I take no pleasure in that others who slagged my views on him are now agreeing with me. In fact I am the first to applaud any player that I have had reason to criticise who raises his game and proves me wrong.
ToffeeWeb is a great platform for fans to air their views. We must remember that these are highly paid professionals in a cut-throat business. As such, they need to be mentally strong enough to take the rough with the smooth. Let us continue as Evertonians to voice constructive criticism where it is warranted.
69 Posted 12/03/2019 at 01:38:10
But I still rate him. Good shot-stopper, great confidence, world-class distribution (even if it's gone slightly awry lately).
Is he worse than Howard? We've had an issue defensively for a while now. It's not just the keeper who organises the defence.
70 Posted 12/03/2019 at 13:10:03
Goalkeeper is the toughest position on the pitch. Most players can make any number of errors which will result in precisely nothing happening. The goalkeeper slips up and it's often a goal.
So a midfielder who makes 10 failed attempts to pass the ball forward and 20 successful ones (especially if one results in a goal) gets a bit of flak, but "he made the first goal" will usually absolve him.
A forward who misses every cross for an entire match, who is offside in 5 out of 10 attacks is a hero if someone else's shot hits him on the back and goes in.
A goalkeeper who saves a series of excellent shots but doesn't make up for four big specialist centre backs failing to get in the way of a shot is "a useless failure".
Pickford is probably the best goalkeeper in the world today – just look at the blunders at Chelsea, ManU, Spurs and the RS. He also has some real attitude and personality (don't we constantly and rightly most about the lack of commitment from this team?) and winding up the opposition supporters is an excellent tactic!
As I've said before, the first and only really important responsibility of a goalkeeper is to stop the ball going into the goal. If he can, push it away from the goal, if not, there are half a dozen highly paid athletes whose responsibility is to get there ahead of the opposition and get rid. Once he's saved a shot, that is 90% of his responsibility over.
Pickford is almost certainly the only world-class player Everton has had since Kanchelskis. And if the defence is useless, he will still let in plenty of goals.
71 Posted 12/03/2019 at 14:10:08
Pickford has just become a father for the first time (I think?). This will surely help his maturity levels.
Personally, I view his confidence as a good thing. No point in dwelling on a mistake.
But yes, he has got to improve. And how he's still palming the ball back into the centre of goal is beyond me... and the coaching staff by the looks of things.
I'd give him another season and then see where we're at. We aren't going get anyone who is proven to be much better so we'd only be buying another youngster and hoping he could 'develop'. That same word we've heard so many times.
72 Posted 12/03/2019 at 14:12:46
Regarding Pickford, he's been erratic this season, but last season he was very good and saved us on countless occasions. I think the error at Anfield has affected him just as it affected the team, and perhaps he's been trying too hard since then to show a confident attitude. But if confidence doesn't produce positive results, it usually produces negative ones, which for me may account for his bloomers.
73 Posted 12/03/2019 at 14:39:59
Drop him and tell him to sort himself out; if he doesn't, get shut in the summer. Loads of good shot-stoppers out there and some of them can actually catch and kick a ball... something Pickford has shown time and time again he struggles with.
His form is a massive concern. We have seen promising players' careers nosedive rapidly and disappear off the radar. I hope it doesn't happen to Pickford. Ultimately, that's down to him.
74 Posted 12/03/2019 at 15:03:06
I would even put him in the top 6 in the Premier league let alone the world.
75 Posted 12/03/2019 at 15:11:13
Got to say I never heard the Dracula moniker hung on Gordon in my circle, Stan. Not saying that others did address him as such, but I still maintain even if that was the case, I personally don't recall Gordon being shy or ineffective in coming for crosses.
Already said my piece on Pickford on another thread. I find some of the criticism too personal (crass, even) and subjective, rather than objective, merited and considered.
Yes, he made serious errors against 'them' and Spurs in December. His kicking has been wayward in many games and needs to get back to how good it was last season. His fumbling of the ball to concede the penalty on Saturday was poor, but then he redeemed himself by saving the pen.
He made some other fine saves in that game, but can be justifiably criticized for their second goal.
Beyond that, I'm struggling to recall serious serial failure from him every week as some critics are suggesting.
On the question of his 'engagement' with the home fans, personally, I like players with a touch of bravado and cockiness, as long as it doesn't impact negatively on their game.
I see no evidence that sticking his tongue out to the home fans did this.
76 Posted 12/03/2019 at 15:29:12
77 Posted 12/03/2019 at 15:43:08
"I like players with a touch of bravado and cockiness, as long as it doesn't impact negatively on their game."
I believe most of the good and honest contributors to ToffeeWeb, whose words you selectively threw back at them as being crass, were livid with Pickford exactly because this is what they saw on Saturday.
You "saw no evidence", and of course we're back to your horrible empiricist argument of weeks ago. But fans see what they see, interpreted through their own prism of football and world experience. What's the phrase? Pickford was "cruisn' for a bruisin'... pride before a fall" — call it what you want.
You may not like what they see but you should at least accept that is what they see. No lengthy epistle from you is going to change their perceptions.
78 Posted 12/03/2019 at 16:30:48
I also agree about Pickford, and think we would be throwing our dummies out of the pram if we got rid of him on the basis of this season.
79 Posted 12/03/2019 at 16:48:53
Interesting to see just how much goalkeepers can be underrated or overrated compared with outfield players.
80 Posted 12/03/2019 at 17:37:32
Alisson vs Leicester, Manchester United
Karius vs Real Madrid (2x same match),
Arrizabalaga v Man City
de Gea v Arsenal (Xhaka and Mustafi), Switzerland, Portugal (playing for Spain), Bournemouth
Peter Cech v Arsenal, Blackpool
Pickford is also currently the joint top penalty saver in the Premier League.
Goalkeeper blunders go with the job.
81 Posted 12/03/2019 at 19:43:45
According to stats (yes, I know) included within the article, Jordan has made more major mistakes (7) than any other Premier League keeper this season. Also, it states that he didn't make any in his first 30 league games last season.
Not sure how much can be placed solely on stats but quite condemning all the same.
82 Posted 12/03/2019 at 20:25:24
Other players have been affected too, especially defenders, and It's becoming clear that Silva is eroding confidence and discipline in the squad, game by game.
83 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:08:49
84 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:10:35
Maybe Pickford, is one of the reasons the zonal marking hasn't worked? Or maybe the new goalkeeping coach, just isn't good enough? But confidence at Everton has been like a yo-yo this season, and that's why I can't agree that the manager is eroding both confidence and discipline game by game.
Saturday left a very sour taste but the team had kept consecutive clean sheets before that and the only defender who plays every week who was here last season'seems to be one of our most improved players (Keane) which shows you how bad his confidence must have been before Silva arrived.
Although I don't think Keane will ever be good enough for anything more than a mid-table team imo anyway.
85 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:16:24
86 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:24:12
87 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:41:57
Pickford made no mistakes that led to goals in his first 30 Premier League games for Everton and 6 mistakes that have led to goals in his last 38 Premier League games (2 towards the end of last season and 4 this season – according to the Premier League website).
If he plays on Sunday, it'll be his 100th Premier League game (Sunderland and Everton). He's only been on the winning side 28 times so far and has been on the losing side 49 times, with 22 draws.
He's conceded 156 goals in 99 games, 347 saves, 22 clean sheets, 4 penalties saved, 9 errors leading to goals.
88 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:19:11
Six is inflated. What happened last season shouldn't really matter, in my opinion. This season is Marco's. What happens under his watch with his players is what is germane to the conversation.
That sounds a bit shitty, I certainly don't mean it that way. It just strikes me that the stat could read, "Pickford made two mistakes that led to goals in the 2017-18 season, and 4 mistakes thus far in the 2018-19 season that have led to goals." The "dangling 2" irks me a bit. Seems to be juggling of numbers to hammer a point home more.
Four is four too many. But I'd think top keepers have at least two gaffs in them a season.
89 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:24:37
He is young, will no doubt mature over the next few years and hopefully do what Southall did and become top class by the time he is 26 or so.
As for his behaviour, I remember what I was like on the pitch at his age and it wasn't always that good if I am honest. Saturday was very frustrating but, as Tony says above, we played very well going forward for an hour. This happens in a developing team and we need to secure safety, experiment with a few players til the end of the season and then improve next season.
It won't happen overnight but I think we have the makings of a good team; whether Marco can deliver it, I am not sure.
90 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:27:28
Won just over a quarter of his first 100 games? I reckon this kid is just used to losing, especially when you consider his comments at the end of the Anfield derby.
91 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:58:19
Interesting that Pickford is compared to Hart in the article. Ironic as Hart has continually been savaged by the media as soon as he was dropped by Guardiola and the reverse has happened to Pickford who has been favoured massively by the media. Hart is better than Pickford all day long.
I heard Schmeichel senior talking on Sky about keepers saying that it annoyed him when people talked about keepers as being good shot-stoppers. His point was that shot-stopping was a basic minimum requirement for a keeper – otherwise, what the hell was he doing in goal? Pickford concedes over 50 goals a season in the Premier League; that is his level. Unfortunately.
92 Posted 12/03/2019 at 23:26:04
Jamie, I deliberately made the distinction between this season and last season (in brackets) for clarity purposes. No agenda on my part.
His win rate obviously isn't helped by a relegation season with a dreadful Sunderland team. The Everton Premier League win rate with Pickford in goal is 23 wins in 68 games.
93 Posted 12/03/2019 at 23:49:34
Talk about nonsense, Alastair, that's complete and utter bollocks.
The club have given up 9 goals in the last "half dozen or so games"... and so you claim that ALL of them are due to Pickford's mistakes??
Excuse me while I spread that load on my garden. Should make the roses grow fast.
94 Posted 13/03/2019 at 00:13:10
I wasn't, for the record, thinking you personally were trying to skew the numbers. The numbers were received from somewhere (EPL?), and I thought that particular "somewhere" was the one making the numbers fudge to tell a story. Why cite site six errors, carrying over 2 from last season and covering it up by saying X number from Y number of games?
Anyhow my apologies if you took offense. I didn't intend it as such, nor did I intend it as taking up anything with you.
It was the presentation of the numbers I had an issue with - one you attempted to clear up, that I focused on.
95 Posted 13/03/2019 at 00:23:33
No offence taken. Here's a link to the stats page I used.
96 Posted 13/03/2019 at 00:41:55
Nor do they cover instances where Pickford should have commanded his 6-yard box but didn't.
They are misleading as they point to errors, usually where the ball has been touched. They don't take sheer incompetence and indifference into account which could easily contribute to another 9 goals.
A cross comes into the box, 2 yards from a frozen Pickford who elects to stand still and watch while an attacker scores. Pickford should have commanded his area and prevented the goal, he doesn't. It doesn't go down as an error leading to a goal; however, it is incompetence through indifference.
Pickford made mistakes and cost us goals in his first 30 games, he has done in his last 30 games. They aren't all recorded as mistakes leading to goals.
97 Posted 13/03/2019 at 01:01:38
How do you know that Jordan isn't told to stay on his line by his manager?
When Jordan comes out for a cross, he's a freight train. When he punches a ball, it doesn't appear if he cares if he hits an opposing player, his own player, or the ball. He comes out with purpose and aggression. I don't see a timid keeper rooted on his line. What I do see is a lot of people, when we concede from a corner, look to blame someone.
"Rooted on his line" ... "Doesn't command his area" ... "Frozen". I don't see that.
I don't see this incompetence and indifference of which you speak. I can't recall these mythical instances where he was responsible for goals outside of the statistics.
What I clearly remember, is how many times he's saved our ass with ridiculously fantastic, acrobatic, near-god-like, superlative saves.
Without Jordan Pickford, I'd bet we'd be 6 to 9 points worse off this season. Check out all the games that are draws or were within a single goal, and see how many big saves Jordan came up with. Bet it's at least 2-3 games he's bailed our ass out.
98 Posted 13/03/2019 at 07:25:54
The only time he saved us any points was when he saved a penalty at home to Palace when it was 0-0. Obviously we went on to score 2 late goals. Other than that, I'm struggling... Anfield, Spurs at home, Newcastle last week, etc etc.
Drop him and bring Virginia in, I say... But he won't.
99 Posted 13/03/2019 at 08:03:36
He seems incapable of catching a ball, and not just crosses, and his punching at high balls only gifts the ball back to the opposition and puts our defence, and himself, straight back under pressure. Maybe this is why some perceive that our defence have no confidence in front of him?
At least when he's on his line he has more chance of making a save than he has of catching a high ball.
100 Posted 13/03/2019 at 08:19:57
101 Posted 13/03/2019 at 08:25:56
Like several other players in the side his little misjudgements have cost us or nearly cost us. Most of the others have eventually been benched at some point but Jordan has not.
if it is a true meritocracy then someone else should take his place. I'm sure a kick up the arse is what he needs.
102 Posted 13/03/2019 at 09:24:17
"What I clearly remember, is how many times he's saved our ass with ridiculously fantastic, acrobatic, near-god-like, superlative saves."
That's kind of what goalkeepers do though right? I bet nearly all keepers in the league could assemble neat montages of them making fingertip saves throughout the season.
I think Jordan is probably a better than average shot-stopper though even that assertion is called into question by the stats. This season he has saved 66% of shots that he has faced (similar to last season). That puts him 12th in the league with the top 3 being Allison, Lloris and Fabianski between 72% and 78%.
Obviously such statistics can be misleading as there are plenty of factors involved but I don't know if the mistakes in Jordan's game this season could be be justified even if his shotstopping was above average. It's a mentality thing as much as any. Defenders want to feel confident of the man behind them, especially when the ball is in the air or goes over their head.
How much of this it to do with Jordan himself or the way he's being coached is hard to say but there are definitely issues that need to be addressed.
103 Posted 13/03/2019 at 09:57:00
But then, I haven't felt we had a dependable goalie for 10 years.
Pickford has qualities, for sure. I am just not sure if his qualities are good enough for the Premier League.
Comparisons with Hart are not just, tough. Because Hart was a really good keeper a while back. I would say Pickford never reached the top level Hart was at some years ago. Hopefully he will, but I am in doubt.
104 Posted 13/03/2019 at 11:05:32
Pickford has been at fault for plenty of goals, he has also made some saves that have prevented certain goals. Statistics alone do not tell the full story.
105 Posted 13/03/2019 at 12:20:26
The manager obviously has a lot to answer for also but the players need to look at themselves first. For me, there are too many used to losing or who have tasted relegation or are used to being at the wrong end of the table. This is why we are where we are and they cannot play to a higher level to get us results.
106 Posted 13/03/2019 at 15:03:28
"This season he has saved 66% of shots that he has faced (similar to last season). That puts him 12th in the league with the top 3 being Allison, Lloris and Fabianski between 72% and 78%."
Without saying how many shots each keeper has faced the stat is pretty meaningless. If you save the one shot fired at you have a 100% saved but if you save one of two shots fired you only have a saved of 50%. The keepers you mention all have better defences in front of them than Pickford does so that reduces the amount of shots they have to save.
Would Allison, Lloris and Fabianski save the same percentage of shots if they were behind Everton's leaky defence? We'll never know because they'll never be behind it but I do know when Ray Clemence moved from Liverpool to Spurs his shot stopping dropped seriously.
The fact is he's a young keeper. A babe in arms by keeper standards. Top keepers don't come into their prime until they get into their late 20s. I remember De Gea was raw when he first went to Man Utd. Constantly making mistakes but he appears to have turned out alright. I think we should stick with him. It's not like we can afford to splurge £60 million on a new keeper.
107 Posted 15/03/2019 at 09:50:09
That is where we find ourselves right now, bringing in the Santa Cruz's and Bellamy's and Hart's until we get it right.
Pickford is a perfect match for Everton right now, we need stability and a slow push back into the top 5/6 before we invest in some proven quality at the Europa League/Champions League level. It will take time and Maybe Pickford needs time via another season to see where he truly sits in the goalkeeping ratings.
108 Posted 01/04/2019 at 17:41:02
109 Posted 01/04/2019 at 17:54:38
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