Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has claimed that Newcastle fans abused him when the two clubs faced off in a Premier League encounter earlier this month.
The England number one goalkeeper had a poor game during the encounter against the Magpies, which will have to go down as one of the best top-flight fixtures of the month.
Marco Silva’s Everton charges ended up squandering a two-goal advantage and went on to lose to Newcastle 3-2.
During the game, Pickford committed a poor foul, which resulted in a penalty and probably should have warranted a red-card. He did however manage to save Matt Ritchie’s spot-kick.
The Everton stopper had exchanges with the Newcastle fans throughout the game. It is certainly not surprising that Pickford is hated by Magpies fans. After all, he is a youth product of Sunderland, who are the Toon Army’s arch-nemesis.
“With me being a Sunderland lad, in front of 52,000 Newcastle fans hurling abuse at you for the full game . . . too much stuff; it was just all about being a Sunderland fan,” Pickford said, as quoted by the Newcastle Chronicle.
“That sort of language, maybe it did get to me a bit too much. But I’m only 25. It’s a learning curve. Next time I go there, I won’t be getting involved as much. I bounced back with a solid performance against Chelsea. It’s ‘How do I improve for the next game?”
Pickford joined the Toffees from his boyhood club after they were relegated from the Premier League following the end of the 2016-17 season. Along with Jermain Defoe, he was one of the few bright sparks in the Black Cats squad that season.
Pickford had a promising debut season with Everton and he managed to land himself the England first-choice goalkeeping role during the World Cup in Russia. Though there were question marks surrounding his ability to keep for England, he exceeded expectations in Russia as the Three Lions went on to reach the semi-finals of the tournament before being eliminated by Croatia.
Pickford has however struggled for form and consistency this season. He will need to get back into form soon if he wants to ensure that he retains the Three Lions first-choice goalkeeping position for the long-term.