Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has delivered his firm backing to Jordan Pickford with the England keeper’s first team place in doubt now following the arrival of Robin Olsen.
Olsen arrived at Goodison Park from AS Roma on transfer deadline day, after the Toffees had also been linked with a potential move for Manchester United Sergio Romero. Carlo Ancelotti was keen to provide competition for Pickford with the 26-year-old’s form continuing to be scrutinised.
Pickford endured a very challenging season last term, with the England number one conceding an average of 1.5 goals per game and only averaging 2.5 saves per ninety minutes (via Sofascore).
This season has started better for Pickford and he has helped Ancelotti’s side win their opening four matches of the Premier League season. However, he has still been at fault for goals conceded against Brighton last time out in the league and also for two shipped in their League Cup tie with Fleetwood Town.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Southall offered Pickford his firm support and suggested that Everton will need to rely on him at times this season to get them out of trouble. While he also stated that having a manager of Ancelotti’s quality giving him his backing is a positive sign.
He said: “I think he’s had probably three bad minutes in six months – if [that].
“His mistakes aren’t killing us – I think that’s a good thing – and I think once he finds his form, we’ll be flying.
“There’ll be a time when we have that little bump in the road and maybe we’ll have to rely on him. Maybe people will have to change their opinions.
“But I do think, if Mr Ancelotti wants to play you, you must be half-decent. If his job was on the line, there’d be a taxi outside Goodison tomorrow.”
Pickford has really found himself under pressure, but he can not really blame anyone but himself for that. When you are England’s number one keeper, you would not usually expect to be being challenged for you place at club level, and that has perhaps been part of the issue in him getting a little complacent.
Olsen’s arrival needs to re-focus Pickford and see him improve his form over the next few weeks if he is to retain his place. Southall has been where Pickford is and knows the pressures of playing for Everton and the 26-year-old will need to prove he deserves that backing from an Everton legend.
Everton fans, do you agree with Southall’s comments? Let us know your thoughts below!
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