Pickford: I can't be a 'normal' lad anymore

Wednesday, 12 June, 2019 26comments  |  Jump to last
Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan Pickford says that he has learned from the off-the-pitch incident that launched him onto the back pages in April and that, together with the birth of his daughter, it has prompted a change in his lifestyle.

Two months after he was provoked into a scuffle outside a bar in Sunderland by taunts aimed at his fiancée Megan Davison, the Everton and England goalkeeper made the headlines for the all right reasons this week with another penalty save on the international scene and an excellent spot-kick of his own.

That came in the wake of a stretch of improved club form following a personal horror show at Newcastle in February in a painful 3-2 defeat for the Blues and, as the 25-year-old told The Telegraph he feels he has matured in the interim.

“I think the main thing about it is that I am a normal lad – but then sometimes you have got to realise you are not a normal lad, you are an England footballer,” Pickford said of the fisticuffs in his hometown that were captured on video.

“I just want to be a normal lad, but you have got to realise certain things. You learn from it like you learn from everything. So you move on from that and after that incident I pushed on at the end of the season and kept a lot of clean sheets. It just shows my character.

“I've got a little baby now and life has changed so with the little baby and my missus, it is a totally different lifestyle now and it is great,” said Pickford. “It was just one of them things, I don't think there is much more to say. You learn from everything, how to become a man and grow.”

Pickford stepped up to take his country's fifth penalty in a shoot-out with Switzerland in the Uefa Nations League third-place playoff game on Sunday and hammered home confidently before guessing the right way to push Josip Drmic's kick to win the shootout 6-5.

He was also a hero the last time an England game went to penalties, against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and he explains how much work goes into preparing for spot-kicks:

“There is a big process that goes into the penalties. You need that extra edge going into a penalty shoot-out, everyone thinks it is luck but you can do a lot of research with the analysis staff, who record every penalty we take and do hours and hours on end when we are not here.

“I think mine was a half-decent penalty.”


Reader Comments (26)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 13/06/2019 at 07:07:38
Goalkeepers have long been seen as a group who might not be entirely "normal" having some slight streak of madness that in others, at best, might be seen as over exuberance and confidence. Doesn't mean he shouldn't be treated as "normal" people albeit avoiding the limelight he is afforded by "normal" people. If all else fails he can take consolation in being a quite rich non-normal person.

Normal service will now be resumed.

Duncan McDine
2 Posted 13/06/2019 at 07:46:23
Goalkeepers and drummers... Complete nutjobs. Our Jordan is probably a shit hot drummer coz he’s not the greatest keeper!
Jimmy Hogan
3 Posted 13/06/2019 at 08:17:36
Duncan, you can add chefs to that list.
James Hill
4 Posted 13/06/2019 at 08:39:39
Duncan #2, The lad will be one of the goalkeeping greats. Just hope it is with us.
Terry Underwood
5 Posted 13/06/2019 at 09:17:41
Jimmy @3. Thanks for that insight, I had no idea our keeper could cook
Dean Johnson
6 Posted 13/06/2019 at 11:16:52
People called Duncan, complete nut jobs, total bigots
Brian Williams
7 Posted 13/06/2019 at 11:17:56
That's right Duncan get right behind the lad!
Anthony A Hughes
8 Posted 13/06/2019 at 18:18:43
What's that noise? Ah yes the sound of a dropping penny.
Jay Harris
9 Posted 13/06/2019 at 19:18:41
Well he doesnt lack confidence does he.
Justin Doone
10 Posted 13/06/2019 at 21:33:35
Proof will be in the pudding.

I think this has probably come from discussions whilst away with the England squad.

I'm not sure if that means they are more professional or that he maybe respects and listens a bit more to the England staff but as long as it's good for Everton - all good.

Ian Linn
11 Posted 14/06/2019 at 05:08:09
How do you know there is a drummer at the door?

Knocks three times, comes in late

Duncan McDine
12 Posted 14/06/2019 at 06:51:11
I wish someone did ‘get behind him’ in the last minute at Anfield.
John Hoggarth
13 Posted 14/06/2019 at 13:54:42
We all know he made a couple of high profile mistakes last season, Duncan. So did every keeper...including the likes of De Gea. How long is he going to be crucified for mistakes and get no credit for the stuff he did well? His stats overall were pretty good. He’s got plenty of room for improvement but it’s difficult to see us bringing in anyone better. Give the lad some support
John Pierce
14 Posted 14/06/2019 at 14:14:58
Some white noise about Cillessen at Barcelona. Is it possible with Pickford’s stock so high we sell for massive money and a good relationship with Barcelona helps get this lad in?
We might reasonably expect £75m for him and that could bank roll and striker?
Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 14/06/2019 at 18:09:58
For god’s sake, Duncan, let it go already!
Martin Mason
16 Posted 14/06/2019 at 18:20:59
Great goalies are great in the modern game with its crowded areas, because they are willing to do the brave and unexpected often in order to cover a defensive mistake. As a result of this, on very, very rare occasions, the very best make a mistake by doing this. If you compare Pickford's ratio of bad mistakes to his goal "saves" it wouldn't register. To criticise Pickford based on any performance criteria is shows a lack of understanding of the game. To dwell on, and judge current players by past mistakes is totally weird. Pickford is one of our best buys ever, it may be that we'll cash in and that it would be great business but I really hope not. He's made the England spot his own and no Everton goalie has a chance of replacing him unless he's injured, he is possibly the best in the World including De Gea, his distribution for me is unmatched by any goalie I've seen.
Brian Williams
17 Posted 14/06/2019 at 18:34:36
Logical thinking mate, but can't see it myself.
Duncan McDine
18 Posted 14/06/2019 at 18:59:00
Hehe, I was having a bit of a laugh with my comments to be honest - didn’t mean to ruffle feathers. Both of my kids have signed photos of him, but I’m not his biggest fan! If that’s against TW rules, I apologise.
Kase Chow
19 Posted 14/06/2019 at 21:37:42
Martin #16

Pickford's distribution is erratic!!!

Are you going on reputation, lad, or your own eyes?

Tim Keyes
20 Posted 14/06/2019 at 21:53:54
Martin, I’m sorry but you’re watching a different player to me; his distribution last season was utterly woeful. Ive never seen a keeper kick the ball straight out of play as often as he does.

He panics under pressure and his performance levels dropped hugely last season. He’s a little bit too full of his own piss and wind for me at the moment however he is young, certainly in goalkeeping terms and in time he will learn the difference between confidence and arrogance I hope.

Andy Crooks
21 Posted 14/06/2019 at 22:05:53
I agree, Martin. He is a top goalie and in my view will be a great one. He needs to add calmness to his game. The best goalkeepers I have ever seen – Nev, Pat Jennings, Banks, Yashin – were calm. They looked relaxed. In fact, Pat Jennings seemed laid back to the point of being ready for a nap. He wasn't, though, but he looked like it.

Tim, Pickford doesn't panic. In fact, a bit of panic might do him no harm. He will get better and better. Selling him, for whatever price, would confirm that we are wheeler-dealers with little aspiration.

Tim Keyes
22 Posted 14/06/2019 at 22:21:49
Andy, I really don’t want to sell him, far from it, the point I was trying to make is that he is far from the finished article. He isn’t comfortable with the ball at his feet and that might come with age and experience but presently he’s a long way off either of the two Brazilians. He makes me uncomfortable sitting watching him so I cant imagine he fills his defenders with confidence.

He’s 24 I think so he could be in a really good place in two or three years time so as you have said we need to keep hold of him and let him improve. We’ve already lost a spine of significant potential (Stones, Barkley and Lukaku) and can ill afford to lose another.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 14/06/2019 at 23:10:06
Nothing against the rules, Duncan, and no apologies necessary... I drop pretty much the same comment whenever anybody brings up that moment. I just think it's been flogged to death.

As to Pickford's distribution, everybody's right. It is, on occasion, brilliant. It is also, at times, wildly erratic. My take is that he's an exceptionally strong and accurate kick and throw who often tries for too much and rushes himself, and he'll improve with experience.

Martin Mason
24 Posted 15/06/2019 at 10:06:20
His distribution is superb given that a lot of the time he is throwing and passing up to 50m and virtually always getting it into the right area given the pressure that any receiving player will be under. Few outfield players could claim anywhere near the success rate. His save rate is phenomenal and he is capable of stepping up and burying penalties a thing which few outfield players do well. HE is beyond dispute the best English goalie and the best goalie that Everton have on the books. He is exceptional by any standard you can name. He has one problem that some Evertonians criticise him for, he's human.
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 15/06/2019 at 19:57:44
Martin (24), what a goalkeeper, he's sensational, there is nothing he can't do, perfection personified.

I wish I'd seen him, alas I've only seen the one we've got and he's nowhere near the one you describe.

Paul Tran
26 Posted 15/06/2019 at 20:54:12
He's a great shot-stopper, but he doesn't command his box, lacks presence and his feet aren't always in the right place. I think he's one of those young lads that tries to look confident, rather than being actually confident and his nervous energy explodes and gets in his way.

Experience will iron out those faults. He's a very good young keeper who will get better.

I can't help looking across the park and wishing we had a keeper like that, whether it's eventually Jordan or AN Other.

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