England will have the chance to pick up their first-ever European Championship this Sunday but there’s a slight chance that Jordan Pickford could mess things up.
Pickford has been the first-choice keeper for England for some time now and during the first few matches of the tournament, he was rock-solid(keeping clean sheets till the quarter-final). But in the semi-final against Denmark, the Everton man looked really shaky.
And according to Jose Mourinho, Jordan Pickford will need to relax or he could turn out to be the weak link for the England side on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho told talkSPORT: “I think he was the only one who showed signs of not being on the top of his game, being nervous.
“That urgency of playing immediately, even when the ball was in his hands he was always in a hurry. I think the guy has to relax, he has to cool down.
“He didn’t make important mistakes in the competition, he and the team together have reached the final.
“I think between him and the other keepers, the goalkeeper coach and probably Gareth and the other experienced players, they’ve got to try and relax him.
“Because the most important thing with a goalkeeper is not to make impossible saves, it’s not to make the basic mistakes – what we call the silly mistakes.
“If on top of that you can be amazing and make incredible saves, great, but at least don’t make mistakes, don’t create instability in the team.
“I would say to him, try to relax, keep it simple, if you feel pressure don’t try to play from the back, it’s better to kick long and he’s so good by doing that, it gives the team more time to organise.
“Don’t put players under pressure, don’t try to create problems for your own team, don’t play difficult passes to players under pressure in a dangerous area of the pitch and try to relax a little bit.”
“Because, honestly, he was the player who could give us a little bit of a feeling of being a bit nervous.”
Will Jordan Pickford falter against Italy?
It was pretty evident that Jordan Pickford did not have the best of games against Denmark as he made a few errors during the matches. Thankfully, the Danish players were not able to capitalise on those but we don’t think Italy will be so lenient.
The Italians are masters at spotting a weakness in their opponents and then exploiting it. So after the wobbly semi-final performance, Pickford will need to be on his toes.
⛔️ vs Austria
⛔️ vs Romania
⛔️ vs Croatia
⛔️ vs Scotland
⛔️ vs Czech Republic
⛔️ vs Germany
⛔️ vs Ukraine
Jordan Pickford is only the second ever England goalkeeper to keep seven consecutive clean sheets. The legendary Gordon Banks was the first in 1966! 🤚🏻 pic.twitter.com/ISvG4Lybtb
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) July 3, 2021
Players like Bonucci and Chiellini are bound to get physical when it comes to corners and free-kicks and this is one area where the Everton keeper does not look very comfortable.
Gareth Southgate is surely not going to put him on the bench and bring in his second-choice keeper for the final but the England manager should ask his defenders to provide extra cushioning for Pickford, especially when there are ariel duels.