When Jordan Pickford pulls on the England jersey he becomes arguably one of the best goalkeepers in world football, as the undisputed number one, but the same can’t be said when he pulls on his Everton shirt week in, week out.
Pickford has steered England to a semi-final of a World Cup and the final of Euro 2020, with his most famous work being his world-class performance in the penalty shoot against Colombia in 2018.
With so many notable clean sheets and famous saves for his international side, it’s a wonder why he shows inconsistency in his Everton performances.
No goalkeeper in the Premier League has made more errors leading to goals since he joined Everton in 2017, with 11 errors to his name for Everton alone, and 15 including his time at Sunderland. For England, though, the ‘keeper has zero.
There are many reasons why Jordan Pickford could be picking up errors for his club side, including a lack of confidence in his defensive line ahead of him.
Everton are well known for their constant rearrangement of their centre back pairings with nine different options selected. Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman and Mason Holgate are the only defenders to have been with Pickford at Everton since he joined four seasons ago.
For the Three Lions, the 27-year-old is much more likely to feel comfortable in his role as a sweeper-keeper as he is surrounded by ball-playing defenders who command the ball with more confidence.
There is nothing but praise from voices in football when it comes to Pickford’s international performances, and the debate surrounding the keeper always comes back to his incredible form for England.
“It’s all about clean sheets in tournament football.
“I’ve been really pleased with Jordan and he had a lot of people on his back about being too involved in the game.
“When you’ve got a goalkeeper behind you like that, it helps.
“Jordan has always been a resilient young man and dealt with pressures and I’m sure now he’s grown his hair a little bit more he’s probably not hearing as much.”
If Rafa Benitez can develop and establish a much more consistent and reliable defensive style to emulate that of the England set-up, he could extract much more from Pickford as their Premier League campaign continues and consequently, save their dodgy run of form.