Weeks after the Merseyside Derby, certain elements of the mainstream media and the mob they’ve whipped up into a furore continue to pursue the Jordan Pickford agenda. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, having given the player the day off last Sunday, had definitively stated at the time that the England number one would be back for the Manchester United clash tomorrow.
During his pre-match press conference today, when a reporter started asking if Pickford was ‘trying to be someone he thought a goalkeeper should be rather than being himself’, Ancelotti started responding before changing tack.
“No I don’t think that— We are talking too much about Jordan Pickford! I know (it’s because) he is the (England) national team number one.
“Last week he said to me that it was the first time in seven years he was on the bench, I was surprised at this because he is still really young.
“And that’s it. He has to improve by learning from mistakes as all goalkeepers do in their careers. I had fantastic goalkeepers, young like Buffon and others, that improved their quality by learning through the mistakes they made in training.
“It will be the same for Jordan, because the quality, the character, the personality, is there. There is no doubt, he is and he will be better in the future.”
It will come as a great relief to the 26-year-old to have the manager firmly in his corner and going out of his way to defend him against the barrage of abuse he has received since the Virgil van Dijk incident. Pickford can certainly be forgiven for having other things on his mind with having to hire additional security to protect his wife and infant child, but it will be a true mark of his growth and maturity if he can turn in a couple of strong showings on the pitch and back his manager’s words up.
Jordan Pickford is one of us, and we must support him through this phase as well.