Everton legend Neville Southall has slammed the criticism of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and claimed that there is a “concerted effort” to get the shot-stopper out of the England team.
Pickford has been England’s first-choice goalkeeper since 2018 and gained praise for his role when the Three Lions reached the semi-finals in the 2018 World Cup.
However, he has attracted criticism for his inconsistent performances over the past 18 months, which has led to suggestions that Nick Pope or Dean Henderson should replace him.
Everton have continued to keep faith in Pickford as he has only missed one Premier League game for the club so far this season.
Pickford’s performance was convincing in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Leeds United. If he can remain consistent for the Toffees for the rest of the season, he will be the favourite to start for the Three Lions in the rescheduled European Championships.
“I think there’s been a concerted effort by the press to get him out the England team, and I think it always happens when you become an England player,” he said on the Gary Newborn Sports Show.
“The English press want you to be great for the first couple of months, but then they want to get rid of you.
“There’s nobody better to play for England than Jordan Pickford.
“What I didn’t like was, before the Liverpool game, they honed in on both goalkeepers hoping they would make mistakes to have something to talk about.
“That’s changed in football, the targeting people has changed a lot. Carlo Ancelotti is playing him every week, and he’s doing well.
“He’s had a couple of dodgy times, but I can’t think of a goalkeeper in the world who hasn’t. He’s come through it, and he’s doing okay.
“Jordan Pickford has done nothing wrong for England, and they still don’t want him in the team. It’s not Everton’s priority to buy another goalkeeper. I’ve never seen it as a big issue.”