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Former Everton goalkeeper defends Pickford amid criticism

Nigel Martyn comes to Pickford’s rescue with the flak flying

Everton v Newcastle United Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Jordan Pickford has been receiving quite a bit of criticism following his poorly-chosen pass to Lucas Digne on Sunday against West Ham United led to their second goal. The Everton goalkeeper is of course no stranger to brickbats headed his way, but other claims that he has been ‘declining’ this season are well off the mark for a 24-year-old who is still learning his trade and improving all the time.

Former Toffees goaltender Nigel Martyn was interviewed by evertontv in the latest episode of the ‘In Conversation With..’ feature, and he had a bit to say about Pickford and his performances starting with the World Cup this summer.

“He had a good tournament, he really did. It’s a big thing to go to a World Cup, and maybe at such a young age there fear isn’t there of such a big event. He performed brilliantly.

“As a youngster he does have that confidence, and he exudes that to the rest of his teammates as well.

“I wasn’t as vocal as he is at 24. Even at Crystal Palace I would still get the odd shout from defenders but certainly by the end of my career I found it much easier to do so. That comes with confidence and if he’s got that straight away and he’s got the respect of his teammates then it’s all good.

“I definitely saw playing non-league and lower-league football as an advantage, you get to see what it’s really like out there, you get a good grounding. As a young goalkeeper with more experienced players around you to keep you in check you earn that respect for older players.”

Martyn played for the Blues between 2003 and 2006 when he retired, featuring in 97 games with 34 clean sheets in that time. The entire interview can be found here for full members of the club.