Jordan Pickford reveals where he has improved to nail down England no.1 spot
Pickford almost ousted
Following the summer that England’s men’s football team had, that saw them concede just two goals from open play across the entirety of Euro 2020, dropping Pickford seems unthinkable.
The Everton shot-stopper impressed with some brilliant saves, not least keeping two Italian penalties out in the Euro final shoot-out,
Earlier in the 2020-21 campaign, however, his position as no.1 for the Three Lions had been under serious threat. Burnley ‘keeper Nick Pope started in between the sticks for Gareth Southgate’s side in all three of the March friendlies, but was cruelly denied a chance to impress at the European Championships due to injury.
This left Pickford as the obvious choice, even more so when Dean Henderson also withdrew from the squad, leaving just the inexperienced pair of Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale as the other options for the England boss to call upon.
And, as already mentioned, he didn’t disappoint.
Pickford singles out his decision making as biggest improvement
Speaking after England’s latest World Cup qualifier, Pickford had his say on where he has improved in the last year. Now 27, he said:
“I’m getting older, I’m maturing. I’m a lot more experienced as well. Everything is a learning curve. It’s all about improving day to day and being consistent.
“I think the biggest thing is decision-making – making the right pass at the right time, if it’s a counter-attack or whether I need to take the sting out of the game and give the lads a breather.
“So, for me, I think I’ve always felt like I’ve been good at distributing the ball, it’s just doing it at the right time and looking after the lads because realistically if I’ve got the ball in the hands, I’m in charge of the ball and I need to manage the game so I think that’s what I’ve improved on most.”
🗣 “I think the biggest thing is the decision making.”
Jordan Pickford says he has improved on his distribution in the big moments in games pic.twitter.com/W3cjEFwHRK
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 7, 2021
At current progress, he appears nailed on to be England’s number 1 for the next major tournament (taking place in 12 months) and perhaps even the Euro2024 championships.