Jordan Pickford. A man who is far from the calming presence you want your keeper to be. Whether he’s goading the Newcastle fans before making a match-losing error, or having ‘Get the rave on’ stitched into his boots (yes, really), the England international is proving to be far too erratic for his teammates to rely on him right now.
It has been a while now since he has endured a spell out of the firing line – the Sunderland academy graduate has started 81 consecutive Premier League games over the course of the last three seasons with the Black Cats and now with the Toffees.
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Whilst that is obviously good news in terms of him being able to develop his obvious potential, it hasn’t really allowed him to take a step back and analyse the things that he could perhaps be doing better with – being England’s number one on the way to a World Cup semi-final won’t have helped that either.
Against the Magpies last time out, Pickford gave away a stupid penalty which he then saved, only to goad the home support after and again throughout the game.
The 25-year-old then bundled the ball into the path of Ayoze Perez for Newcastle’s equaliser – Everton were 2-0 up – before the Tynesiders went on to win 3-2.
He looked visibly distracted by the back-and-forth goading that he had instigated with the St James’ Park faithful, and that isn’t the first mistake he has made this season – his last-gasp blunder at Anfield against Liverpool also backs up the fact that he allows himself to get caught up in raucous atmospheres.
Maarten Stekelenburg represents a solid back-up option for Marco Silva and one the club seemingly trust having offered him a new contract back in the summer, and the Dutchman should be drafted in for the last eight games of the season in order to bring Pickford back to reality a bit.