Michael Brown has been slamming the decision by Carlo Ancelotti to play Jordan Pickford versus Manchester United.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Spurs and Leeds United central midfield player was clearly unsure as to why the Italian boss decided to bring the England international back in after dropping him for Robin Olsen for the 2-1 loss against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park:
“I don’t get it. It’s a warning when you bring a goalkeeper in so the warning was already there.
“I don’t know, he sees Pickford every day, he sees his professionalism, sees how he deals with people, and maybe that is getting the best out of somebody.
“It’s difficult as a player because then you’re thinking right: ‘Well if I kick one ball out of play am I going to be left out?’ It becomes difficult if it becomes a regular thing, you know.
“Does that mean now he’s got a block of games, is the slate, is the slate clean? Do you play bad for a couple of games and you’re out or is it one game, is it one half? They’ll only know that from the discussions in house.”
STRANGE DECISION TO PLAY PICKFORD
Indeed, it was perhaps a strange decision by Ancelotti to play Pickford instead of Olsen in between the posts for the Goodison Park faithful.
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Despite the defeat to Steve Bruce’s team in the previous match, the Sweden international made two saves and his expected goals differential of +0.4 suggests that he had an above-average day in terms of stopping shots (Fbref).
Olsen also made zero mistakes that led to goals while playing for AS Roma in the Serie A in the 2019/20 season, suggesting that he is a reliable goalkeeper in between the sticks.
PICKFORD IS ERROR-PRONE
In contrast to the 30-year-old, Pickford is pretty error-prone. The 26-year-old made no fewer than four errors that led directly to goals in the last term in the top flight (Sofascore).
Perhaps it is now time to take him out of the firing line for a while, and thus give Olsen an extended run in the side.
If Olsen can impress on international duty during the break, then he may well give Ancelotti something to really think about when both players come back to Finch Farm.
Nonetheless, the Blues need a change of fortune after three straight losses in the league, so it will be interesting to see what changes, if anything, when the international break is over.
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