Everton goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, has been named in Garth Crooks’ Team after the Week after his performance against Chelsea on Thursday (16 December).
The England number one was crucial in earning a hard-earned point for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Pickford made nine saves v Chelsea, only bettered in his performance versus Arsenal in May 2017 where he made 11.
Upon Pickford’s inclusion in his Team of the Week, Crooks said: “The only reason Everton left Stamford Bridge with a point was because of Pickford.
“He seems less erratic since his successful England campaign last summer and appears to have reduced the number of mistakes he was inclined to make from time to time.
“I was never a big fan of Pickford, but I must say he has become a calmer keeper and, with it, a better goalkeeper of late. I hope I haven’t jinxed him.”
Pickford was almost a ticking time bomb for mistakes earlier in his career. Now in the latter stages of his career – at 27 – he seems to have found his focus and can be called upon when the Toffees need him much like he did against European Champions, Chelsea.
He is a decorated international know with Gareth Southgate backing him in two major tournaments. Pickford more than played his part in England’s journey to the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia (2018) and continued his England form as England made it all the way to the final of the Euros (2021).
Gareth Southgate deserves a lot of credit for Pickford’s new lease of life. Whilst away with England, the Blues keeper has been working with a sports psychologist to make him less hyperactive and admitted it made him ‘much calmer’.
If Pickford manages to maintain his current form, it would be a huge boost for Everton as they look to turn their season around.