Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has defended Jordan Pickford’s England spot, claiming he has enough “credit in the bank” for him to keep his first choice spot, as reports Football Insider.
The Everton shot-stopper came under criticism last weekend, with Christian Benteke scoring for Crystal Palace after shooting straight at Pickford, with the ball squeezing underneath the 25-year old’s body.
Following the calamitous error, plenty of fans expressed their frustration online, with some suggesting that Pickford is no longer worthy of a starting spot for the Three Lions.
However, Robinson has backed the former Sunderland man, claiming that he is still Gareth Southgate’s best option. Talking to Football Insider, Robinson said:
Personally, I think his stock at international level, I think he’s got quite a bit of credit in the bank. He’s the number one at the moment.
Tom Heaton, very unfortunately, has picked up a bad injury that will keep him out for the season, but he was playing outstandingly well, and he was probably his nearest contender.
Nick Pope’s probably not at the top of his game playing in a Burnley team that have struggled of late.
[Dean] Henderson at Sheffield United, he’s probably playing the best out of the England goalkeepers at the moment, but do you take the risk of an unexperienced, uncapped keeper going into a major tournament? You don’t.
I think it gives Pickford the edge at the moment. He’s got the experience, he’s got the jersey, and I think, for me, he’s the number one.
Read Everton Verdict
While Robinson’s stance is understandable, I do think it is hard to provide a valid reason as for why Pickford deserves to be Southgate’s starting choice between the sticks at the upcoming Euros.
Dean Henderson may be inexperienced, but for my money, it is always better to pick those who are performing well over those who earn their place because they’re associated with that role. WhoScored give Pickford a rating of 6.36 this season, while Henderson has a much loftier 6.73, indicating that he has shown enough to earn an opportunity at the very least.
Joe Hart was England’s first choice goalkeeper for far too long, and that was because managers were seemingly too afraid to drop him for someone like Jordan Pickford or Jack Butland, who at the time were the more ‘inexperienced’ options.
Because Hart was constantly labelled as ‘England’s Number.1’, he kept his place despite poor form before England eventually realised their mistake. Unless Pickford can buck up his ideas between now and the end of the season, England should not make the same mistake again.