Pickford, the case for removal... or not?

by   |   24/01/2020  83 Comments  [Jump to last]

To me, Jordan Pickford is the best goalie we can afford. I also think he's still the best English goalie currently playing, albeit there's now a smidge of meaningful competition. In fact, I also think he's in the top six keepers in the Premier League, regardless of nationality.

That's my case FOR him.

My case against him is that he comes across as a bit thick. This is admittedly a subjective comment on his personality but, if it forms any part of the opinion on the players in front of him during games, it's a big problem for the team, and the fans, and Moshiri. By way of contrast, Neville Southall, a bin-man and hod carrier back in the day, always came across as a the picture of sober excellence, even when he once famously squatted, for bloody good reason as far as I was concerned, throughout half-time, leaning on a goalpost as the rest of the team retreated to the dressing room to discuss another wretched first-half performance.

That said, Pickford is now on the cusp of being 26 years old. I really think he needs to now “get his head together” on and off the field in order to progress to the level we enjoyed with Nev and Nigel Martyn – especially in view of the crap squad he played with – both of them being the same height as him, and both, in their different ways, being peerless 'keepers.

Top teams have top 'keepers, as well as top defenders, midfielders and strikers.

Hopefully Jordan can very soon supply the fantastic base of our next trophy-winning side.

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John Keating
1 Posted 25/01/2020 at 07:14:50
They always talk about the "spine" of the team being most important.

We have seen this with Man City. They went out and got a top goalie and centre half in Laporte and went up another level. Laporte got injured and their results wavered. Big difference seeing their results with and without him.

Our neighbours, close but not close enough, suffered in the goalie and centre half positions.
They went out got a top goalie and centre half and hey presto, say no more.

The complete spine of our team is missing.

DCL is trying as best he can and fingers crossed he can take that step up now he has been told to be more selfish, and, get help in a more 2 up top set up.
Centre half we are still struggling.
Holgate has improved massively recently but we still need a leader, a dominant player, in that position.
In my opinion, until we get rid of the clown presently between the sticks we will continually suffer.

I have no doubt some will reply to your post with a stack full of statistics to show he is great.
I prefer to use my eyes.
I see a guy who cannot take charge of his own 6 yard box, let alone penalty area.
I see a guy who's antics in the box causes panic in the defenders. Rather than a calm commanding influence he is the complete opposite
His distribution at times is quite unbelievable.
He may well be a good "shot stopper" but there's a lot more about being a goalie than that and the 2 you mentioned, Big Nev and Martyn prove that.

Unless he gets some treatment very soon I think we will have to look elsewhere

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 25/01/2020 at 09:08:03
Who has been coaching Pickford?

Some of his weaknesses are obviously in the penalty area, but they don't seem to have been worked on. Pickford needs a mentor. He has personality traits that needs ironed out and only a good mentor could achieve this. I think he has learn't his lesson off the pitch.

It has become apparent that Siva though he worked hard, individual coaching was poor. Ancelotti is gradually improving the individual coaching. Silva coaching targets where attacking and defending in the Silva system. As long as a player did both be got selected, no matter what the level of performance was regarding attacking space, pass completion going forward or finishing. Ancelotti is working progressively in all these areas. I expect Pickford will be getting individual attention, it is already showing in some aspects of his game.

I think judging Pickfords performance on the behind the line save is harsh, given the ping pong nature of the play up to it. There where multiple failings earlier in the play.

The Everton players have been under successive poor individual Coaches. They are being coached individually now. I don't expect Everton to transfer in players until this is sorted out.

Ray Robinson
3 Posted 25/01/2020 at 09:20:23
In Pickford, I see a very good goalie but with some fundamental flaws - not least the fact that I think he lacks a few inches in height. Not much he can do about that now.

Don, you say you rank him in the top 6 keepers in the league. We are not in the top 6, so we are, in your opinion, 'over-achieving' as far as the goalkeeping position is concerned. And therein lies the problem, who do we buy who is available, we can afford and is better all round than Pickford?

As far as I can make out, unless there is some unknown foreign gem waiting to be picked up, there is nobody around that wouldn't risk trading one set of weaknesses for another. How much did Chelsea pay for Kepa - and now the fans are complaining that he isn't good enough!

I think we stick with Pickford - there are far more urgent areas of concern that need addressing first.

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 25/01/2020 at 09:45:50
I have no faith in him everytime a cross or corner comes in. His performances at Anfield on 2 occasions have lost us games. He was relegated with Sunderland, if we want to be top 4 in the next few years we will need another keeper. He costs us points every month.
May aswell stuck with Ruddy.
Kase Chow
5 Posted 25/01/2020 at 09:52:40
Too many mistakes and too Hollywood for my liking

I don’t trust him, he doesn't command his area and he can’t deal with crosses

He makes the ocassiobaly excellent saves like at West Ham away but then costs us repeatedly in so many other matches eg Liverpool this season (awful positioning for Origi’s goals), Newcastle, Spurs etc

He’s a clown of the first order...please please please get rid

Kunal Desai
6 Posted 25/01/2020 at 10:06:04
He's a good shot stopper, but his overall decision making is poor and my concern is that he never anticipates any danger ahead of him potentially putting fear into our defence. For me his attitude is questionable and i've not seen any signs of him wanting to learn to become a better keeper.
I'd certainly look to move him on in the summer if someone offers the money back we paid.
Sam Hoare
7 Posted 25/01/2020 at 10:10:12
Don’t see how Pickford is possibly in top 6 keepers in the league. His strongest suit is supposedly shot stopping and yet his save percentage is in the bottom 2 with Kepa. His aerial command is weak and his decision making questionable. His distribution is another asset potentially but is a bit mixed in in my opinion.

He’s not improving and I don’t think it will be long till one of Dean Henderson or Nick Pope have replaced him. This season there are 7 English keepers in the league with a superior save percentage!

Andrew Hight
8 Posted 25/01/2020 at 10:55:18
Does the spectacular well but poor at commanding his area, dealing with crosses and prone to big errors. Every time the ball comes into the box it makes me nervous. We’ve not had an assured GK since Martyn. Howard was above average but not great. Pickford right now is not where Howard peaked at. Needs an upgrade
John P McFarlane
9 Posted 25/01/2020 at 11:09:17
Pickford is coming up to 26 years old, so he's a trifle older than I thought he was. He does save Everton points in many games - I know that's his job etc - but he also makes errors of judgement too which costs us points, but overall I think he saves more points than he costs.

The perception of him has already been set by the media, almost as soon as he earned his first cap for England but especially when he joined Everton. He's very unfortunate to have come to Everton, when the club has been in major crisis mode for most of his time here. How much of that is down to the lad himself and how much has been down to having a bunch of air-head defenders around him is difficult to say.

I'd stick with him for another year, but if he can't eradicate the errors in his game, we'll have to replace him, with a more steady eddie type of keeper, but who would pay big bucks for Pickford?

Alan Kelly has the rest of this season to coach Pickford and hopefully iron out any issues that Jordan has, but unfortunately some things can't be coached.

Mark Tanton
10 Posted 25/01/2020 at 11:38:29
I'm afraid I don't have any temperate comments to make about him. He's a joke. He is like Hart, with all the foibles the former England goalkeeper had.

Think of the best goalkeepers - Martyn, Seaman, Shilton, Banks. All of them are big and steady, reliable and solid. All of them are quiet and inscrutable, built like a barn door. Now think of Pickford and Hart - erratic, weird, over the top and unpredictable.

I ain't having him.

Jerome Shields
11 Posted 25/01/2020 at 11:41:54
Alan Kelly Jr was a good goalkeeper as was his father Alan Kelly Snr and his brother Gary.

Duncan Fergusion brought Alan Kelly back, after he was sacked by Silva, who was not the greatest defensive strategist. Pickford probably wanted him back and Duncan probably recognised a fellow sufferer.

Alan Kelly Jr has all the credentials to be good goalkeeping coach at Everton, having serviced a wide ranging apprenticeship, and more importantly become a beneficial mentor to Pickford.

Ancelotti has kept Alan Kelly on as goalkeeping coach. It's early days, but Pickford has shown improvement. It is not within Ancelottis plans to replace Pickford at the moment and he certainly did not blame him for the goal, saved behind the line.

Mike Kehoe
12 Posted 25/01/2020 at 11:49:36
Good shot stopper but an absolute liability from any set piece as demonstrated numerous times. Makes ill judged decisions every bit as much as making excellent saves. This man will never be the foundation to build on and there are many better keepers that should be within our reach.
Peter Warren
13 Posted 25/01/2020 at 12:03:44
I actually think he's been the best he's ever been this season and is getting better. I would liken him to David James without the height. I would sell when his value is at its highest (hopefully after a tournament this year). Problem is who would buy him? Wolves possibly?

I don't think he will ever be a top keeper owing to what's between his ears. His mentality actually reminds me of a striker. He has extreme confidence in his own ability and is able to shrug off criticism and errors and he's rather cocky and arrogant. Unfortunately, I don't think that mentality serves keepers well!

Eddie Dunn
14 Posted 25/01/2020 at 12:09:25
For me, Pickford, is one of those keepers who rely on reflexes and agility to pull off "Hollywood" saves. We have all known friends who throw themselves across the mats in 5-a-side tipping shots round the posts, when better positioning a yard or two forward would have only required an outstretched hand of foot to do the same job.

Pickford should be getting better at his positioning, but has been caught out several times this season. Some of his handling is excellent and I can't criticise him at crosses too much when the defence is playing zonal marking.

He does try to be too involved in the play, wanting to provide killer passes only to skew any of his punts into Row Z. He may lack intelligence and he does make rash decisions but he has also pulled off some cracking saves.

All-in-all, he is not our biggest problem.

Sam Hoare
15 Posted 25/01/2020 at 12:19:09
People keep saying he’s a good shot-stopper. He’s not!

Making the occasional flashy save does not make you a good shot stopper. Saving a high percentage of shots in comparison to your peers does.

He has good agility and that makes the saves he does make look spectacular at times. But his save percentage is way down in the league.

He’s really not that good and if someone were to offer us £30-40m after a decent Euros 2020 I’d absolutely bite their arm off.

John Pierce
16 Posted 25/01/2020 at 12:30:20

If I were Brands, I'd be hoping for exactly that. Pickford to have a good euros, a penalty save or two. Sell him on the up, as you proffer and help us with FFP.

The best keeper don't make saves, they organize and exude calm. Pickford simply doesn't have the mental discipline to be the very best.

Bill Gienapp
17 Posted 25/01/2020 at 12:51:12
As I've said before, swapping Pickford for someone like Nick Pope or Ben Foster would be largely pointless, as you'd simply be trading one set of strengths and weaknesses for another. Bringing in a clear-cut upgrade, along the lines of what Liverpool did with Alisson, would not be easy and cost an absolute fortune.

As Eddie said, we have bigger issues to focus on at the moment.

Tony Hill
18 Posted 25/01/2020 at 12:58:32
26 is still young for a goalkeeper. He has started coming out for crosses more, and with some success, so he clearly has been working on his game. I think he is very good one-on-one and a decent shot-stopper, though Sam's comments @15 are fair. My biggest worry is that he can be a creator of anxiety in the defence, instead of a reassurance.

It's a tricky one because I would like to see Lossl given a go (why was he bought if not to provide some competition?) but I can see that the Euros will make that difficult for Pickford to accept and who knows where that would lead?

I would stick with him.

Ray Roche
19 Posted 25/01/2020 at 13:08:54
Tony, Lössl hasn't even been on the bench. Duncan brought Stekelenburg back and left Lössl out completely.
Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 25/01/2020 at 13:36:50
Pickford probably gained us a point last Saturday, and then contributed to us losing two points on Tuesday night. He makes great saves that can stick in the memory, but I’m not sure how much confidence he gives to the defenders who play in front of him though?

Some people think we have more pressing matters than to replace the keeper, and although I’m not one for stats, the ones Sam, provides on Pickford, are quite worrying, because when I watch Everton play, our goalkeeper never seems to be in-command, or in-sink, with his defence.

I wonder if Ferguson dropped Lössl, because he might not have much respect for him? Pure speculation on my part, but surely he was too young to come to Everton as an understudy? and although we are not privy to what goes on at F/F, he definitely seems to have come to Everton for both the money and the easy life, to have made such a decision for such a young footballer imo.

A good goalkeeper is often the difference between winning and losing, so for that reason, I personally think it might just be the most important position on the pitch? if not, it’s certainly got to be the most underestimated position, especially when people talk about even more important matters, (midfield, right wing and centre back) which just shows the size of the job Ancellotti has taken on.

Tony Hill
21 Posted 25/01/2020 at 14:22:29
Must be something amiss then with Lossl, Ray and Tony. Strange.
Alan J Thompson
22 Posted 25/01/2020 at 14:40:42
If all you are going to count is the few mistakes he makes then it is highly unlikely that you'll be happy with any keeper except those who look like they couldn't have done anything about it anyway. Yes, he makes mistakes and yes, some are at times when it really counts (isn't that the case with everything a keeper does) but it happens to most keepers and there are few as good, never mind better, than Pickford.

Find another reason.

Kevin Prytherch
23 Posted 25/01/2020 at 15:15:28
We’ve been unfortunate to only have 2 great keepers since the 80’s, in Southall and Martyn.

There is a massive difference in them and Pickford looking at the Newcastle goals.

For the first one, if Martyn or Southall would have come for that ball, they would have got to it and taken everyone in their path out with them. And it would have looked like a regular collection of a cross.

For the second goal. The first shot that rebounds off the post - Pickford comes, then hesitates, then moves again. Either Martyn or Southall would have been positioned on the front post and, when the first shot is hit, a big hand would have come out and palmed it wide. Again, it would have liked like a regular stop.

Truly great keepers don’t always make the headline grabbing saves, but they do make things look calm and easy.

Andy Crooks
24 Posted 25/01/2020 at 15:39:33
When Pickford was at Sunderland his saves, even in defeat, were highlighted, it made him look like a young hero in a shite team.
In my view he wasn't. He was a relegation goalkeeper who spread panic through a poor defence; looking good in MOTD highlights but a pretty average all round goal keeper.
To me he has got no better. It is astonishing and an indictment of English goalkeepers that he has a single cap.However, we are stuck with him. He is a flapping, blame apportioning over mouthy, self satisfied second rater.
This is, at the moment, neither here nor there.He is limited in a limited team.We all hope, though, that we are soon going places and if we are Jordan Pickford will be gone.
Carl Manning
25 Posted 25/01/2020 at 15:46:41
There’s no easy wolves would replace Patricio with Pickford through choice, Patricio is on hell of a reliable keeper. Just short of top level, but solid every single week.

The problem would be replacing him. As people have said, he’s only 26 so could have 10 years or more left at the top level. I think that is what will protect his value for us. Even looking around Europe it’s hard to name many top class keepers anymore.

We need to remember kasper Schmeichels tragetory. It’s only the last 5 years he’s truly been appreciated. Before that he was in danger of being a journeyman after he left man city to drop down the league. Now on his 30s he’s a terrific, solid, reliable keeper.

Martin Nicholls
26 Posted 25/01/2020 at 16:24:11
If I were !looking to replace Pickford, I'd look very closely at Timo Horn of Cologne.
Nicholas Ryan
27 Posted 25/01/2020 at 16:27:39
I fear, that anyone who said 'Pickford is as thick as two short planks', would be sued for defamation, by the Short Plank Society!
Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 25/01/2020 at 17:16:30
Eddie #14, Bill #17, good summaries, agree. I would not want us to spend time or money looking for a new keeper right now when there are many more urgent issues to address.

Sam #15, I disagree. Pickford makes saves many other keepers can't, because of his quickness. And while his lack of height may keep him from reaching top corner shots, he also gets down to low shots as well as any keeper in the Prem.

And to me, one measure of whether a keeper is a good shot-stopper is the Howler Factor -- how often a keeper loses concentration and lets an easy shot bounce off his hands into the net, or leak between his legs and trickle in. Those are devastating to a club. We've seen several this year from De Gea, Kepa, Ederson, all the top keepers in the league. But none from Pickford. Ever. Do a Google search on "Pickford howler" and the only entry you get is the Anfield blunder. Pickford makes every single save he's supposed to, and I think that contributes to the assessment that he's a top shot-stopper.

I do think we'll need a better keeper for the Champions League in 2022, but there are about 7 other positions on the pitch that require addressing first.

Eddie Dunn
29 Posted 25/01/2020 at 17:37:52
Very sensible Mike.
Andy Crooks
30 Posted 25/01/2020 at 17:46:12
Pat Jennings used to catch, one handed, the type of cross Pickford flaps at. Goalkeepers today, and Pickford is a major culprit, beat out shots that they should hold; hold and immediately launch a counter attack.
The standard of goalkeeping today is just awful considering the protection they are afforded by referees.
Mike, the Howler factor only matters if we are talking Sprake -like howlers on a regular basis. What we need is a calm, reassuring goalkeeper who fills the defence with confidence. That isn't and will never be Pickford. Somethings can be coached. Presence can't.
Mike Gaynes
31 Posted 25/01/2020 at 18:07:45
Andy, geez, Pat Jennings was 40 years ago. Fact is, goalkeepers overall were probably just as crappy back then as they are now. You just don't remember most of them. You remember the greats.
Joe McMahon
32 Posted 25/01/2020 at 18:08:43
Andy, Pat Jennings was just awesome wasn't he. Some great keepers in the 70, Shilton, Parkes, Clemance and then the arrival of Nev then Seaman, Martyn and Peter Schmeichel. Oh for one of that lot.
Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 25/01/2020 at 18:24:24
I once had a VHS tape entitled something like "All-time Howlers from All-time Goalkeepers". I don't remember any of them clearly except the guy throwing the ball into his own net, but I know for certain that Jennings, Shilton and Clemence were on it. So it happens to the greats.
Colin Glassar
34 Posted 25/01/2020 at 18:25:16
Andy, goalies of yore used to catch the ball with both hands. They could also punch the ball and put the knee in when needed.

Today’s pansies aka the modern gk can’t even do the basics and, heavens forbid, resist physical contact. The great goalies of the past eg Jennings, Stepney, Southall, Wood, Banks etc... would put this bunch to shame.

Andy Finigan
35 Posted 25/01/2020 at 18:38:38
Pickford may improve with age but I watched Jack Butland for Stoke on Monday and he looks calm and collective and commands the whole box. He has had a blip but looks back to his very best.
Eddie Dunn
36 Posted 25/01/2020 at 19:19:30
Colin & Andy, come -on fellers, today's keepers are trained not to catch, but bat or deflect the balloon away from the danger areas.
Cast your minds back ten years or so, goalies being totally bamboozled by modern balls doing all sorts of UFO-style distortions through the air, the poor keepers being made to look like utter dunces as the spherical swines managed to avert their waiting grasps.
Hence the new directive to volleyball -swat them somewhere else.
Pickford can catch. Iv'e seen him pull off some super catches. That ain't his problem.
Recalling goalies of the past, I have seen plenty of howlers at Goodison and beyond.
On the question of height, I think that Dai Davies was 6 foot. He was a steady goalie, but not top class.
Indeed height is only measured to the top of your head. I was 5 foot 11, but now, at the age of 59, I suspect I am closer to 5 foot 10. My arms though, are long. Surely a better gauge of keeper would be the height of the man with his arms straight upwards. Some chaps of my height would still be able to grasp a ball standing still, better than a taller chap with shorter arms. Then of course there is the question of the ability of the keeper to jump.
All these things need to be looked at.
Then there is the weight. Nev now would most likely injure anyone near him, regardless of shirt colour, thus resulting in huge costs to the PL insurance scheme and penalties aplenty.
There is more to this golakeeping lark than meets the eye.
Joe McMahon
37 Posted 25/01/2020 at 19:20:59
I've just been reading up on Pat Jennings, I never knew he was cover for Everton in the '86 FA Cup final??? How did I not know that? To be fair, I was still at school then, I'm now 50!
Paul Kelly
38 Posted 25/01/2020 at 19:52:33
Don't know if I'm deluded, but I'm sure I remember a time when keepers dominated their area, collected crosses, picked the ball out of the air with impunity.

These days, they can't even punch a ball clear or was I spoilt growing up with Nev? But then again when I played between the sticks (scarcely) I knew to catch the pig skin whilst raising my knee so any challenge would be met with broken ribs/being winded or getting a forearm in the mush. Goalies can get away with murders, protected species they are.

A shot stopper is not enough, but then again that is the basic requirement of a goalie.

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 25/01/2020 at 20:03:19
Eddie... "spherical swines"??? Love it.

I gotta have a beer with you the next time I come over. You must be a blast to talk to.

Paul Birmingham
40 Posted 25/01/2020 at 20:18:29
Andy @24, spot on, I remember some game, I'm sure the same day as we drew 3-3, at Chelsea and got mugged by dodgy officials and John Terry.

I think Spurs done Sunderland 4-0 or 5-0 at the Lane. That game stood out but it could have been an FA Cup match versus a non-league team.

In my view despite wishing for all around improvements in his game, I don't see him improving too much, and unless we get a rock-solid defence, he will always flap and pan nick.

The RS mauling last month, was scary, and it's the wrong type of press now.

I'd at least try Jonas, for a few games, but it seems that he's not backed too much by the management staff, nor by too many on a TW.

Long term, I reckon, as long as he's in the England squad, EFC, will stay content. But the time will run and I'm sure Carlo, must know this key position is an Achilles heel, behind at times an open gate defence.

There's no comparison as stated on here with keepers of yesteryear, who were born leaders and inspiration on the park.

Times and styles change, but I'd love us to have Jan Oblak.

Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 25/01/2020 at 20:26:22
Paul #40, every club on the planet would love to have Jan Oblak. In my view he's the best in the world.
Graeme Beresford
42 Posted 25/01/2020 at 21:17:43
Let’s have it right, he’s an awful goalkeeper. I have said it for years in this forum. The amount of goals we have conceded were we say ‘he should of saved that’ is just not good enough.

Constantly beaten at his near post, Manchester City last and this season and Lyon in the Europa league at Goodison springs to mind. Constantly beaten by high shots where he jumps to early or too late, Liverpool last season and this season. Erratic and cocky he runs out of his box too often, Tottenham last season, and misses punches a lot, Newcastle this season.

He saves the shot which he should save but makes the save look so Hollywood we all think ‘wow, what a save’ then when he’s called upon to save another, he flaps it.

I said it 2 years ago, give me Joe Hart over him any day, now I’m saying give me Ben Foster over him anyday. The lad drives me insane and I know where I would be aiming if I was a striker against him. High and placed or hard and low.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 25/01/2020 at 21:18:30
Mike (33), One of the Ray Clemence howlers might have been the one in a Scotland ( pity it wasn’t a Liverpool game) versus England game when Dalgleish put a not very strong shot through Clemence legs, I think it won Scotland the game.

On the grounds that I’m not a snitch, I’m not mentioning Neville Southall’s one, and that cost us the game as well.

Paul Birmingham
44 Posted 25/01/2020 at 21:52:43
Mike@41, snap, and the aura of a proven, tough keeper, regardless of whom he is is worth 15 points a season, upfront for the motivation and inspiration to any team.

I’d like to think the fortune cookies, will be kind soon and EFC get some robust solutions, to our positional issues.

This could be dissected to each position, but for me the GK, at EFC, is huge.

If we get a great GK, or develop one, (soon) the psyche and dynamic of the team changes for the better.

That leads to improved performance and consistency, doesn’t guarantee success, but enhances the chances of success and winning trophies.

Time will tell.

Rob Dolby
45 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:03:01
I am not a big fan of Pickford's but I do believe that today's goalkeepers have a much more difficult job on their hands than their predecessors.

The ball moves through the air quicker and also deviates more with the development of the balls used.

Goalkeepers also have to able to pick passes out more and deal with back passes like outfield players.

The TV coverage has 20 cameras picking up every mistake. Chances are that Tuesday’s goal wouldn't have been given before goal line technology was introduced.

Reputations seem to grow with time. Southall was the best around at the time. Even he would struggle with today's kicking and the swerve on the ball.

A good goalie makes good decisions and in Pickford's case he is prone to absolute howlers.

Both of the Newcastle debacles and the RS away shocker are enough for me want a new goalie in time. We need a midfield before getting rid.

Paul Tran
46 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:10:28
Mike #31, you're right. I can remember Dai Davies, David Lawson and Drew Brand. I remember Gordon Lee being knocked back by the board in bidding for Shilton, at a time when we were a good keeper away from being a trophy-winning side.

We might have bigger problems than Pickford, but at a time when we're balancing the books for FFP, I wouldn't be averse to selling a mistake-ridden keeper, buying at least a half-decent one and having some change.

Paul Birmingham
47 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:26:30
Paul@46, great memories, and plus George Wood, to the GKs, you’ve referenced, they all dropped more than a few clangers.

But as stated different pitches, balls and a different game.

Showing our age, but that’s it. I always remember Leao, Brazil, Jongblodd, Holland, and Sepp Maier, Germany and Dino Zeffirelli’s, as charismatic goal keepers, whom could do the business, consistently between the sticks, over decades

Yep let’s hope we find another a Big Nev, soon.

Paul Tran
48 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:37:20
You're right, Paul. Forgot about bloody George Wood!
The thing is, just like then, there's a pile of ordinary clanger-ridden keepers now. And just like then, we've got one and I want a better one. They all make mistakes, but one that I could trust would be a start.
Don Alexander
49 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:40:57
Paul & Mike (#40/41), you do realise that Jan Oblak's only an inch taller than Jordan don't you? I don't think an extra inch makes any real difference. That said, my missus insists it does.
Kevin Latham
50 Posted 25/01/2020 at 22:45:08
I think Pickford is a decent keeper, but to be honest I do worry sometimes when I see him constantly dive for shots that are obviously going wide or over the bar. I understand the need to err on the side of caution but really top class keepers seem to have more spatial awareness regarding where their posts and crossbar are, and see the ball out rather than dive after it. He seems to have the need to bounce around the box like Timmy Mallet on speed

And Paul @47, not only was Dino Zeffirelli a top keeper but he also directed some sound films😉

Eddie Dunn
51 Posted 25/01/2020 at 23:27:16
Mike @39, you're on, I will get up there when you next swim over.

When we signed Dave Lawson, I think he was the most expensive British goalie, which is a shock thinking back, as my memories of him are that he was very average.

I doubt Pickford will ever become top class, like Nev, Shilts or Clemence, but in time, like a naughty dog, he might just calm down. However, as he gets older and more decrepit, he won't be as agile and thus won't make those Hollywood saves.

Like in rugby, times have changed, the game has also altered and now keepers are being asked to use their feet much more. Some of them are enormous, and can reach far higher than even the best salmon leaping striker. Strange times.

I heard that Ederson is the best penalty taker in Man City's team,- superb at it in training. He is also the best in the air, using his head, thanks to his father who used to throw balls to him, shouting "Header, son".

Night all.

Paul Birmingham
52 Posted 25/01/2020 at 23:30:28
Don, a fair point and right, but this adds to the dedication, and focus that is needed to be a top goal keeper.

No one contested Big Nevs, stature, when he played, such was his well established and earned aura, based on true grit, graft, respect and professionalism and bloody hard work.

By getting the basics right, in what is the hardest position in any football team, verbal communications, pre planning etc or the training ground drills, you’d expect in any football team to do, then, the team has a talisman, and if a good team perhaps, a midfielder, forward or wing back, that stands out from the rest.

I see Jordan, as not beyond redemption, but very close to that point, as he’s been around now, a good few years, and in my view m it’s any time now for, a Stan Laurel, clearance, punch, or throw.

I want the lad to be good, but now my gut instinct, right or wrong tells, me, there’s the chance of a boobie, any time soon. I think he means well, tries too hard, gets wound up, ego, and self contrives to unintentionally sell a goal, like on Tuesday, against the Toon, and other very fatal defeats, of late v the RS.

That’s not conceding, but the basic GK failings, positional, clearance, command of the box.

People will remember Westie, and from the other side, Whom the RS, called the “Flying Pig”.

Both compensated by dedication and commitment and team work, and good communication, in them days nurtured by good club captains.

It seems that since the days of Rats, and Wag, Arteta, when, but generally, that’s another key issue, in terms of personality, at EFC, in choice of the club Captain..

Love Seamus, to bits, but like Jags, there’s no devil in both of the, to kick arse and keep the team together on the park..

Well we could all write the equivalent of War & Peace, individually, very well.

Christ, knows, EFC, needs, deliverance, very, very, soon, as many of us, will be, based on the run rate of form, be in the Top Balc, in the Sky, as it stands, alas, taking into account our life time awards for following the EFC, cause.

In Carlo,we trust for deliverance. Soon.

That’s the way it is,

John Raftery
53 Posted 25/01/2020 at 23:38:51
All great keepers make the occasional error. If Pickford was making only the occasional error it would not be an issue. Unfortunately that is not the case. There are several problems with him.

He lacks the physique to command his 6-yard box, most notably at set-pieces. He struggles to reach anything heading towards the top corner. He lacks positional sense. He turns what should be routine saves into a drama. He fails to communicate effectively with his defenders. He seemingly has a compulsion to make an impact on matches, hence his madcap dashes off his line.

It has not helped that he has had at least four goalkeeping coaches since he joined us but by now I would have hoped he might have settled down to be the model of consistency we need. Instead he looks on a par with David Lawson, a keeper capable of making great saves but not reliable.

It used to be said that keepers reach their peak in their early thirties. I am not sure that still applies. The modern game places additional demands on keepers in terms of their ability to distribute the ball quickly and accurately. Back in the eighties the likes of Shilton, Clemence and Jennings could take a breather themselves and give their teammates a breather by gathering endless back passes before taking an age to launch it up to the centre circle.

Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 25/01/2020 at 23:41:29
Paul @48, there was also Drew Brand, I'm sure I remember as kid watching him in a game, midweek, at Goodison Park. He only playeds a couple of games, I'm sure in1975-76... though I could be wrong.

Scottish, and my memory was, what I'd recall another typical Scottish keeper! For the time... He played only a couple of games to show Billy Bingham, Gordon etc etc he was another Stewart Kennedy to be.

Uncanny, but it also tells me something of the perhaps old school, theories of footballers from North of the Border, in them days, and no offences meant to any Scots, on ToffeeWeb, as some of my best friends are Scottish.

And thus here we are now with an EFC, in question, for the wrong reasons, overall.

Tony Hill
55 Posted 25/01/2020 at 23:41:59
As others have noted previously, Pickford is the same height as Shilton and Banks.

Shilton was weak on crosses and so was Nev actually, especially after his injury.

Pickford just needs someone to calm him down. Over time Ancelotti will do it. He plays better on the whole for England than he does for us. We need to get him to that consistent level for Everton and I think we will.

We can't just throw everything out because we're not in the top 6. He's a worry, but he's a manageable worry.

Mike Gaynes
56 Posted 25/01/2020 at 23:49:45
Paul #52, what's ridiculous is that many here wouldn't want Oblak. Or Ter Stegen. Or Navas.

They don't dominate in the air. They punch out crosses instead of catching them. Terrible.

Paul Birmingham
57 Posted 25/01/2020 at 00:00:17
Mike, agreed.

A good goalkeeper, who's Lee Marvin, in guts, determination and Neville Southall, Nigel Martyn, in focus and application, is invaluable.

Hence my rhetoric about the best goalkeepers. EFC, needs one... Soon.

It's a massive puzzle, but in view of catching good players, we need a good goalkeeper, whose reliable and focused, and works hard.

In Oblak, he shows the traits of the old values and performances, prove this.

Paul Birmingham
58 Posted 26/01/2020 at 00:27:53
Don @49, likewise, and spot on, and these days, with VAR, we must adapt our, line of attack!

Till the next TW Beer Fest!

Don Alexander
59 Posted 26/01/2020 at 00:55:28
As excellent as Oblak is, and he really is, he's been blessed with a manager who, despite working on a shoe-string in comparison to Real and Barca, has coached his defence brilliantly for years. Just creating a chance against Atletico is a major achievement for even the best teams in Europe.
Eric Myles
60 Posted 26/01/2020 at 02:26:26
Paul #47, did you mean Dino Zoff?? And don't forget Albertosi who kept Zoff out of the Italian national side.
Alan J Thompson
61 Posted 26/01/2020 at 03:50:47
Don (#49); It seems Pickford may not be the only one making howlers, have you asked your missus how she knows about that inch difference?
Ray Robinson
62 Posted 26/01/2020 at 08:57:33
There are some weird inconsistencies on this thread - not necessarily by the same person, I admit.

* Some question Pickford's mental state and the fact that he can be got at by the crowd. Well, Southall was hardly a model of sanity himself was he? And Gordon West used wind up the Kopites.

* Some question Pickford's distribution which can be erratic, particularly when dealing with poor back passes that put him under pressure. Under little pressure, his distribution is actually very good. It's one of the stated reasons for why he is England's regular No 1. But we know more than the selectors don't we?

* Some people advocate giving Lössl a chance, others point out that Pickford appeared good on TV in a relegation struggle. Err, Lössl – Huddersfield?? There's a reason Lössl doesn't play – he's actually not very good!

* Wolves would be interested in Pickford? Really, their goalie is one of the best in the league. Two years ago, Hart would have been a good choice? The same Hart that was No 3 at Burnley and roundly criticised by Burnley and Aston Villa fans?

* Pope and Henderson would be good replacements? The former, although flavour of the month, dropped an absolute clanger at Chelsea a few weeks ago and gets down to low shots like a sack of potatoes. Henderson? Maybe, I thought he was remarkably lucky at Goodison earlier this season. Jury's out... but, if he's that good, he'll be replacing De Gea soon. Have we all forgotten his blooper against Liverpool?

* Then there's the idea that former goalies were superior to today's. Really? Not just rose-tinted spectacles? In the days of little or no TV coverage / scrutiny, who knows what mistakes the undoubted greats made? The game / ball was totally different then anyway.

Pickford has undoubted limitations such as struggling with high balls, mistiming his jumps, lack of commanding presence but most alternatives that we could afford would be tradeoffs. It's just not a priority area at the moment, I'm afraid.

I could pick any position / player in our team and do a similar pros and cons evaluation. I'd nearly always be able to come up with a better alternative. If only we had unlimited budget, there was no FFP, could find a willing selling club and we had Champions League football. Only buy / sell when we come up with a better alternative that we can actually afford.

Paul #54, Drew Brand did indeed play in a midweek match v Newcastle at the end of the 76-77 season – his only appearance I believe.

Sean Kelly
63 Posted 26/01/2020 at 09:18:13
Pickford is a clown. He plays to the home and away fans while dropping his fragile concentration levels. He's our Grobbelaar. Goes for the spectacular and doesn't do the bread and butter stuff of a keeper.

His positional sense for a small keeper is dreadful. His long punts upfield just give the ball back to the opposition. £30 to 40 million offer I'd take it and get yer man from Newcastle. Sorry, can't spell his name.

Sean Kelly
64 Posted 26/01/2020 at 09:29:21
Basically we are looking for a cross between Southall and Pat Jennings. Now they were two proper keepers...
Dean Johnson
65 Posted 26/01/2020 at 09:49:22
I simply cannot trust any bloke of that generation called Jordan.

Pickford is the biggest problem we have of the playing staff. I don't understand why many can't see it.

Great keepers mean you can play shit and still not lose. We lose or draw when we have played well, many times, thanks to Pickford, but we all end up blaming everyone else.

Fran Mitchell
66 Posted 26/01/2020 at 13:11:49
The biggest problem Dean? Really? Such over reaction...

Unless we can get a real improvement, like a Gianluigi Donnarumma, which would be £100+million and still no guarantees (look at Kepa at Chelsea), then I really can't imagine getting any great improvement.

Pope? Really? Based on a couple of saves when playing us? Cause Burnley are doing so brilliantly, obviously. Beggars belief.

Is Pickford perfect? Far from it, but he is far from our biggest problem, and top-class keepers are not easy (or cheap) to come by.

I think our biggest hope is that young Virginia can reach his supposed potential, and he can overtake Pickford in a couple of years.

Robert Tressell
67 Posted 26/01/2020 at 13:29:12
I agree with the Virginia comment. Our best hope of catching up is to buy very few ready made players – but paying top dollar for top notch. Otherwise, we should be buying 18- to 22-year-olds and bringing them through along with our best academy players.

This was Roberto's strategy with Deulofeu, Stones, Lukaku and Barkley. It was a good strategy let down by the fact that Martinez wasn't as good a coach as he believed. It is the same sort of strategy that should come good with Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Kean, Davies, Gordon and to an extent Richarlison.

The Pickford replacement should be identified as a 20-ish-year-old with a view to claiming the Number 1 slot in circa 2 seasons. That might be Virginia or it might be Tyrer or AN Other (the lad at Gillingham we've been watching). In the meantime, worth persisting with a good but erratic keeper and investing big bucks elsewhere. Very few significant improvements on Pickford around and they will want / expect Champions League football.

Paul Birmingham
68 Posted 26/01/2020 at 13:47:50
Eric @60, yes mate, it's the predictive wording on my iPad: Zefferellu was a film producer. doh!

Dino Zoff was blessed with having in front of him some of the best defenders and midfield units ever assembled at club level and international level.

As Don has said also, having this level of screening and professionalism in front of the goalkeeper, does make life easier.

I don't see at any level the Row Z, route, unless in an emergency. Jordan Pickford, in perhaps 50% of his kicks, cedes possession to the opposition.

Teams like Chelsea, Man City and our neighbours rarely do the number of unforced errors that we've seen the last 18 months. The cup game earlier this month, and their goal, summed it up.

Paul Birmingham
69 Posted 26/01/2020 at 13:52:14
Ray @62, thanks for the insight on Drew Brand's only game.

It's scary where the years have gone.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 26/01/2020 at 17:36:37
Ray (62), I'm not absolutely sure but didn't Drew Brand play in a 5-2 loss to Leeds United?
Ray Robinson
71 Posted 26/01/2020 at 20:02:04
Dave # 70. You're absolutely correct. Just looked it up - he played in the game you mentioned in 1975. I doff my cap to you!
Paul Tran
72 Posted 26/01/2020 at 21:32:28
I knew I'd seen him play when we got stuffed. My old fella told me if I didn't behave he'd make sure Brand was playing next time he could take me.
Danny Broderick
73 Posted 27/01/2020 at 00:16:43
Technically, Pickford is a good goalkeeper. But it’s his non-technical skills that are letting him down. Basically, he seems to have ADHD or something similar. It means his kicking is erratic, his decision making can be up and down because he is not calm and concentrated. Martin Keown described him as frantic. He needs to settle down.

All keepers make mistakes. If it was just the odd mistake he was making, I could live with that. But he transmits panic in addition to making the odd mistake, and that is not what you want from your goalkeeper. He didn’t have anything to do the other night until the 94th minute. He ended up flapping at a cross and then compounded it by running behind the line for their equaliser!

Hopefully someone is working with him to help him maintain focus and be calm, he could only improve if he was less frantic.

Eric Myles
74 Posted 27/01/2020 at 08:17:02
Fran #66, is this the Virginia that was so woeful at Reading he didn't make the bench after his first 2 appearances that we should be pinning our future hopes on?
Derek Thomas
75 Posted 27/01/2020 at 09:38:17
Patricio is reliable and solid every week... in a decent team.

Banks and Shilton lost plenty of games in average teams... you're only as good as the players in front of you.

The Flying Pig... also reliable and (very) solid... only conceded 34 in one 42 game season.

West could get wound up and be temperamental, which all went away once the team in front of him firmed up... he got wound up and temperamental again when the team struggled in 70-71 season.

Hopefully Pickford will mature and play better as (if) the team gets better.

It's also the Manager's job to replace players if he can find somebody better... I think all the top ten goalies are spoken for though.

Joe Bibb
76 Posted 27/01/2020 at 12:44:47
He continually hoofs the ball either to the other goalie, or out for an opposition throw-in. Why isn't that spotted by the goalkeeper coach?

Also, he kicks the ball to either the left wing or right wing, so close to the touchline that our forwards or wingers don't have any room to control or move the ball as they have defenders all over them.

Would it be too hard for him to mostly throw the ball out to defenders or midfielders? Gordon West would throw the ball as far as the halfway line, it nearly always went to an Everton player. Fans should watch the 1966 FA Cup Final and see how Gordon only gave the ball away once from a throw-out.

Pickford's main problem is that he doesn't learn from his mistakes; either this is due to arrogance or stupidity.

Steve Ferns
77 Posted 27/01/2020 at 13:16:46
Yes, Derek, that loan at the age of 19 was far too risky and it backfired. The lad is highly rated, and has already won the European Championships (U19) where he was a star performer. We persuaded him to come here to link up with Hugo Oliveira, the keeper coach who helped developed Man City's Ederson at Benfica.

If you watched Everton U23s, then you'd know a lot of their success was down to a good defence. We are a counter-attacking side who defend well, first and foremost. Other sides had the skill and flamboyance. Virginia was in goal for the last title-winning side. Virginia played 12 of the 22 games (he only played if it did not clash with first-team duties) and in those 12 games, he kept 9 clean sheets.

If you look at that side, then you'd see there was no real stars. Okay, 17-year-old Anthony Gordon played, but he was most often a sub. The goal scorers were Sambou (11) and Hornby (5).

Sambou was released and now plays for Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch top flight, battling relegation with just two goals from 18 games. Hornby is retained by Everton but loaned to the Belgian top flight where he plays for KV and has scored 3 in 10.

Who else were stars? Broadhead (Burton on loan), Bowler (Hull), Evans (can't get a decent loan), Charsley (released). Virginia played a big part in winning the double.

Unsworth has been commenting on the failed loan, and reminding everyone the lad is a baby in keeper terms. He's still only 20 and has a lot of developing to do. Hopefully, he can recover his confidence and form in the PL2 and get himself back on loan next season when he will be more mature and hopefully better able to grab the opportunity.

Carl Manning
78 Posted 27/01/2020 at 00:06:27
there’s a reason keepers are now earning the same as outfield players and their values increasing. At the top level they’re needed to be as comfortable on the ball and under pressure as a midfielder.

The day of just being able to be a shot stopper have long gone. We all want Neuer in his prime in goal. The best in the premier league for me, by today’s standards is Ederson. I can’t actually think off the top of my head of any mistake he’s made in his career at city. Somebody will know one!

That is the barometer, and if we compare Pickford to Ederson, Oblak, alisson, ter Stegen, he falls well short. But so does everybody else!

Jay Harris
79 Posted 28/01/2020 at 00:28:09
To me there are 2 attributes that stand out in all the great keepers.

They boss the box even flattening their own players to get to a ball and they organize their defenders constantly prompting them.

Pickford is poor at both of these and mentally is a bag of nerves himself. Hardly a recipe for a calm organized defence.

His strengths are his agility and quick reactions but he wouldnt get himself in some of these positions if he calmed down a bit.

Terence Leong
80 Posted 28/01/2020 at 04:48:10
I have observed that one strength Pickford has is a certain bravery, and his reaction times are quite something.

What I note though, is that he hasn't seem to inspire his defence with the confidence. He is probably like Grobberlaar who is prone to the odd clanger etc.

I also noticed that when he sees a shot about to happen, he anticipates, jumps for the shot, in order to try to reach them faster.

However, that often comes at the expense of him being able to reach the shot, because he has taken off, and doesn't have the range to reach it.

At the same time, he seems to shuffle his feet a little too much, which slows him down to react to some shots.

When I compare him to Southall and Martyn, these players have an economy of movement. Besides trying to influence the striker's shots, these players are confident to react, rather than anticipate the direction of the shots all the time.

Anton Walsh
81 Posted 29/01/2020 at 14:05:14
To ditch Pickford is to ditch millions. If they got offered x amount they would sell I believe.
Derek Taylor
82 Posted 02/02/2020 at 20:34:55
Our club is indeed fortunate to have so many experts on the goalkeeping art freely at hand. One is so positive that we have 'a wrong 'un' that he advises the powers that be to let him go to the first bidder prepared to pay £30-40 Million for him !

You have to laugh, don't you ?

Mark Murphy
83 Posted 11/02/2020 at 18:17:12
Nice one Dom!!

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