Jordan Pickford continued his excellent form as Everton beat Arsenal on Friday night.
The Toffees’ 1-0 victory was their first away to Arsenal since 1996, but Gabriel Martinelli looked to snatch a point for the Gunners in injury time only to be brilliantly denied by Pickford.
Journalist Josh Bunting remarked after the match that Pickford had been ‘top class’ during the second half of the season. The former Sunderland ‘keeper is ‘playing with confidence and he’s more commanding of the box overall’, Bunting added.
Pickford ‘doesn’t see the criticism’
Back in October, Pickford was engulfed in ‘hysteria’ after his challenge on Virgil van Dijk in the Merseyside Derby.
The Englishman’s lunge resulted in the Reds’ centre-half sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury which looks to have ended his season. Pickford escaped any form of punishment for the tackle.
According to The Athletic‘s Greg O’Keefe, though, Pickford went through a ‘difficult period’ personally in the wake of the episode, but in large part, he’s been able to ignore his critics.
Does Romero start for Everton over Pickford?
Pickford ‘takes little interest in Twitter generally’, O’Keefe writes, ‘and simply does not see much of the criticism he receives there, or the applause’.
The 27-year-old is battling with Manchester United’s Dean Henderson and Burnley’s Nick Pope for the England no. 1 spot at the European Championships.
Transfer Tavern verdict
Pickford has indeed been quietly impressive in recent months. He’s rarely looked so assured, evidenced by the fact he has made just two errors leading to goals this term, less than his previous campaign and less than Liverpool’s Alisson in the current season, via Kickest.
You wonder if he’s a player who’s benefitted from the absence of supporters in stadiums because the pressure is reduced, given he has often been sucked into engaging with the crowd in the past, such as at St. James’ Park.
Shutting out the social media noise can only help in that respect, and one can only hope he keeps his cool once supporters are back.
In other news, this defender is expected to be sold in the summer.
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