IAN LADYMAN: It is time for Jordan Pickford to keep calm and carry on

I like items, because they are astonishing.

The night England lost to Croatia in last year’s World Cup semi-final, I suggested to a colleague that Jordan Pickford would not be Gareth Southgate’s goalkeeper by the time the European Championship came round in 2020. He disagreed immediately.Where he saw the great saves, I couldn’t see past the skittishness, the tendency to leave his line too early and to occasionally kick poorly. The uncertainty he spread through a tired England defence in extra-time that night in Moscow unnerved me. Jordan Pickford has shown improvement for Everton as their keeper over the past seasonPickford was almost impossible to take your eyes off and in his position that is never a good thing. I feared that time — and the unforgiving relentlessness of the Premier League — would find him out.More than 12 months on, I am on the wrong side of that conversation. Pickford will be first pick for the qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo when Southgate announces his squad this week.But I also fear the debate is still live. Only last weekend, Southgate’s Everton manager Marco Silva spoke about his goalkeeper’s progress.’I am trying to make Pickford calm,’ was the headline in The Times and this pointed precisely to the reservations I held post-Russia. Pickford showed occasional skittishness during England’s run to the World Cup semi-finalPickford is athletic, powerful and makes saves that stand out. From that point of view, he is very much the modern goalkeeper.But concentration is as important

This is the magnificent plug-in ever%sentence_ending

Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the Linked Source