England are expected to take three goalkeepers to the World Cup, and it appears Gareth Southgate is yet to make up his mind on who they will be, and who will start in between the posts when the Three Lions take on Tunisia on June 18th.
“If we play tomorrow, I think Joe Hart would be our number one. I said that before the last game and he had a very good performance against Brazil. Equally, as I keep having to say to him, we are six months away and he has got to maintain form and make sure [of that] in the lead up to the World Cup.”
Gareth Southgate, Dec 2017
”Clearly the No. 1 jersey is up for grabs. Joe has had a difficult period for his club. He had to miss game at City - David [Moyes] did a good job in making West Ham more solid and Joe found himself out of the side. He’s got 74 caps and he’s important. We don’t know how the next eight to 10 weeks will pan out.”
Gareth Southgate, March 2018
(via The Sportsman)
Pickford has shown signs of uncertainty while coming out to claim high balls in the six yard box, likely scarred by his utterly inept backline at Everton that has left him completely exposed more often than not from setpieces.
Butland meanwhile has suffered with an equally atrocious defence that has left him completely exposed, though he didn’t help his own case weakly palming two diving headers last weekend from Cenk Tosun.
Multiple media sources (The Mirror, The Guardian, Daily Mail) are saying that Pickford has the edge in the race and will get first crack at the starting job, beginning tomorrow against his former manager Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands side.
Southgate has been insisting that his England side build from the back and the coaching staff have been impressed by Pickford’s superior ball distribution and control skills that have put him in the forefront.