We now begin our player by player review of the past Everton season, in which each individual will be recapped and rated. First up: Jordan Pickford.
Everton - and England’s - number one goalkeeper spent much of the early part of the 2018-19 season not exactly living up to a well-earned reputation. His distribution was shoddy, he was hot-headed, and he made some mistakes. The Divock Origi Merseyside Derby winner comes to mind above all, but there were other issues, too.
Jordan Pickford seemed to suffer from heightened expectations thanks to his performance at Russia 2018, and things came to a head after he let Newcastle United’s fans get into his head on Tyneside, when the Magpies ran rampant in a second half comeback.
After that, something changed. Pickford certainly benefitted from a newly rejuvenated defense, but once the clean sheets began, they rarely ever stopped. Jordan has now not given up a goal at Goodison Park in three months, and he’ll head to the Nations League with the Three Lions in a justifiably good spirit. Pickford finished the campaign tied for third in shutouts with 14.
At the end of the day, Jordan played a rather predictable every-single-minute-of-the-season. His passing numbers perked up, and whatever bit of coaching was done post trip to Newcastle took effect. There is very little to complain or worry about, and outside of the Origi howler, it ended as another solid year for our main man JP.
This section is a little unnecessary to use on a goalkeeper, but there is one thing that bears noting. Unlike Ronald Koeman, Marco Silva did not particularly require Pickford to begin and build play out of the back. This year’s Everton were a press-first side, and Jordan didn’t need to be the catalyst behind possession, even though that is well within his skill set.
Jordan Pickford’s future is what you and I both hope it is - as Everton and England’s first choice between the sticks. The rumors of him joining Chelsea or Manchester United have completely died on the vine, and the ex-Sunderland keeper seems thrilled to be with the Blues. Get the rave on.