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Sam Allardyce defends Jordan Pickford

The Everton goalkeeper has come under fire following an altercation in Sunderland

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Former Everton manager Sam Allardyce has defended Jordan Pickford following an incident over the weekend.

Pickford was filmed involved in a bar fight in his native Sunderland over the weekend, an incident that saw him receive criticism from all angles as a result.

Details from the incident later revealed that Pickford had been subjected to various forms of catcalling all evening, most of which he happily engaged. The situation then turned sour, though, when the goalkeeper reacted badly to abuse aimed at his fiancée.

Those involved in the incident later jumped to Pickford’s defence, insisting that the whole episode was over in less than 20 seconds and nobody came to harm.

The Everton goalkeeper also received the positive news that he will avoid legal action after a bouncer was inadvertently struck during the scuffle.

That has not stopped Pickford being called in for talks with Everton’s hierarchy about his conduct, while outside of the club some has criticised his decision-making and where he chooses to socialise.

Yet, in a surprising twist, Allardyce has jumped to the defence of the England goalkeeper, likening the situation to Roy Keane and his own discipline.

“Jordan has to learn from his mistakes,” he said on TalkSport.

“He is a fantastic goalkeeper, but Jordan is the goalkeeper he is because of his character.

“If you break that character, you may lose the player. The same was said about Roy Keane and his discipline – he won’t be the same player if you don’t allow him to be that person.

“Jordan’s character is that he likes to go out occasionally, but what he has to do is choose better places to go because there’s only one loser in situations like this, and that’s himself.

“It’s about where you go out now, and that will have taught him not to go into places like that, that when you decide to go out, you pick a much better place suited for you and your wife and you don’t go out in the middle of town.

“I know this guy, I brought him back to Sunderland from a loan spell at Preston where he was outstanding, and then I looked after him at Everton too.

“He ended up getting into the England team and the World Cup team, and with that, he comes under more scrutiny, even at 23.”