Ancelotti retains faith in Pickford but demands improvement

Thursday, 16 July, 2020 43comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti has called for greater focus from Jordan Pickford after admitting that the England goalkeeper must do better.

Pickford has once again become a cause for concern as errors have crept back into his game in recent weeks, two of which came very close to gifting goals to opposition teams.

Against Leicester City at the start of the month, he allowed a ball across his six-yard box to squirm underneath his body and hit Michael Keane but the defender was able to hack the ball off the goal line.

Then at Wolves on Sunday, the former Sunderland keeper made a similar blunder and had to pounce on the ball as it was crossing the line to prevent an own goal.

That, combined with some lapses in claiming high balls into his box and question marks over whether he could have done better for Wolves's third goal in Everton's 3-0 defeat at Molineux, prompted journalists to pose questions to Ancelotti over Pickford's form yesterday and whether the club was contemplating signing another goalkeeper.

“I don't know if he needs competition,” the Italian said of Pickford, who came under fire last season for an apparent lack of focus. “I know that he is not doing well. I spoke with him. He's not doing well. He has to be focused on himself, on his performance. Day by day [he has] to try to be better.

“I'm not so worried because he has quality. He has character but I have to say to him — and I have said to him — that he has to improve. I don't know if he does or doesn't feel pressure; pressure is a part of your job. You have to feel pressure but pressure can be a good gasoline for your job.

“I — and everyone else at the club — has total confidence in his quality. It is true he can do better and he knows this because he is critical of himself. I hope there is improvement in the next games. I spoke to him about this.

“There is absolutely no problem [between us]. For the quality that he has — and he agreed — he has to be better. My style is to have a direct relationship and direct communication with the players. If something is wrong, I have to say clearly what is wrong.”

Quotes sourced from MailSport

Reader Comments (43)

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Sam Bowen
1 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:23:36
His ego far outweighs his talent. Been a massive pile of pants since a half decent first season.
Joe McMahon
2 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:44:25
I just can't warm to him at all. I appreciate goalkeeping mistakes can be costly, but there have been so many since his arrival, he doesn't instill any calmness at all.
Mark Tanton
3 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:56:26
More annoying than the mistakes is the fact he seems to find each and every one of them a source of hilarity.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 16/07/2020 at 07:58:37
If any offer of £30 million comes in for him then for me he's got to go.

I get tired of hearing the cries “who you gonna replace him with”.

The simple fact is, the guy is mentally not on the job and he hasn't been on the job ever since the World Cup in 2018.

His ego has inflated far too much and being England number one is all he is arsed about and if he lost that position you get the feeling his career would be going nowhere.

It's not even the amount of pathetic mistakes he makes which frankly are almost on a game by game basis now, it's the pathetic playing up to the camera and the gurning and laughing.

For me he's not going to change, it's who he is and he's become a really big liability in that goal.

Neville Southall, David Seaman, Nigel Martyn, Peter Schmeichel, David de Gea, at Pickfords age these were all top class goalkeepers with their mind on the job.

People say goalkeepers don't mature until 30...I think that's less the case these days, it's much sooner now and besides we haven't got time to be waiting for Pickford to sort his head out.

Any kind of big offer and we should look to cash in before we end up with more of the same next season.

Mike Kehoe
5 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:11:45
Carlo has to be careful in selecting his words for many reasons, like when he endorses other players when they are shite. In reality he is probably saying to his son ‘this fuckers an absolute clown' or ‘who would pay 40 odd million for that gobshite?' but he has to keep it positive and hope some other club with more money than theatre empresarios will come in and take a punt.
As for England, that ship has well sailed, Pope looks so much more assured and competent: not like a grinning imbecile with the concentration span of, oh look, a tree.
Phil Sammon
6 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:45:19
I've said it before so I'll say it again, I think Pickford has ADHD or something. It's obviously not my place to diagnose the lad but some of his traits are detrimental to his goalkeeping ability. He is erratic. He's like a kid who can't sit still.

He also has lots of very unusual reactions to things that happen in a game. In early childhood development they call it ‘inappropriate emotional response'. I really think there is more to it than him just being a bit of a card.

Michael O'Malley
7 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:51:12
I honestly don't see what people see in him. I've heard all the shite that he's a good shot stopper but aren't all keepers good shot stoppers? I don't think I've disliked a player as much as him and how he's still Everton's number 1 never mind England's is a mystery, well done Carlo in reminding this fraud that his spot is not safe
Eddie Dunn
8 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:03:26
Mark and Phil, I think he has got a bit of a concentration problem, but the smiling face after the gaffes is surely embarassment. He has made a few mistakes but he has also pulled-off some good stops in recent games. I think he will always be a bit erratic andif we compare him with Pope at Burnley, who looks assured, calm and in control, we can be critical. However look at who Pope has infront of him...Tarkowski, Taylor,Long, Pieters (sometimes Mee) and that old yard dog Bardsley. They take care of a lot of high balls and provide the stability for Pope to operate.
Poor Jordan would get the collywobbles watching Keane on the turn or Yerri do anything.
Loris at Spurs does some daft things too as does Edison but the media have decided that Pope should get his chance.
It may benefit Pickford not being England's number one.
Anyway, Carlo has to lay off him in public as he probably wants to sell him at a good price.
Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:03:26
Mark and Phil, I think he has got a bit of a concentration problem, but the smiling face after the gaffes is surely embarassment. He has made a few mistakes but he has also pulled-off some good stops in recent games. I think he will always be a bit erratic andif we compare him with Pope at Burnley, who looks assured, calm and in control, we can be critical. However look at who Pope has infront of him...Tarkowski, Taylor,Long, Pieters (sometimes Mee) and that old yard dog Bardsley. They take care of a lot of high balls and provide the stability for Pope to operate.
Poor Jordan would get the collywobbles watching Keane on the turn or Yerri do anything.
Loris at Spurs does some daft things too as does Edison but the media have decided that Pope should get his chance.
It may benefit Pickford not being England's number one.
Anyway, Carlo has to lay off him in public as he probably wants to sell him at a good price.
Paul Tran
10 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:05:39
Phil #6, I completely agree. Skittish, nervous, hyperactive, poor concentration are not attributes I associate with a good keeper. His 'laughing at mistakes' is a symptom of his nervousness and lack of self-control.

I bet our back four would love to be in front of a keeper with presence, calmness and authority. I know I'd prefer one. This summer.

Bill Gienapp
11 Posted 16/07/2020 at 09:12:24
LOL - nice picture choice.
Paul Ellam
12 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:13:29
With Stekelenberg going to Ajax I will be amazed if Ancelotti hasn't lined up a replacement to actually challenge Pickford.
A decent Italian with pride in keeping clean sheets is my guess!
Steve Guy
13 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:15:04
Without a dramatic improvement in all areas of his game, Pickford will cost Everton points next season and may stop us stepping up to a top six aspiration.
Fran Mitchell
14 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:24:51
Strong words from Carlo "He's not doing well, he has to improve". That is a far cry from the usual 'he's a great player blablabla'.

I think Pickford does need to improve, clearly, but that he also is not the priority at the moment.

Signing a quality improvement on him won't be easy, there simply aren't enough top level keepers out there, and our focus at the moment is in other areas of the pitch.

Also, we should only ever sell him should we have his replacement already lined up. Otherwise we'll be screwed and end up with probably a worse keeper for the same cost.

I imagine Ancelotti is banking on being able to improve Pickford and removing (or at least reducing) his mistakes rather than wholesale change. That is more urgent in other areas of the team.

Steven Astley
16 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:36:41
The lad is an idiot on the field.

I never wanted us to sign him in the first place, he was shit for Sunderland.

Don't want to hear that he won our player of the season award for a couple of years. If a Goalie wins a clubs/fans player of the year, then it means there is something seriously wrong with the team. Same as de Gea winning it at Utd, it was a shit team.

This lad is the root of our problems (not all) and should be the highest on the list for replacement. Really disappointed with Carlo's comments.

Not a winner, doesn't have the concentration levels or maturity for it. Only player on our books that has experienced relegation.

Tony Waring
17 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:51:12
Good keepers conceding few goals usually have a strong defensive wall in front of them ! Yes he does make mistakes but what keeper doesn't these days ? He also makes some great saves. The rough usually goes with the smooth.
Liam Reilly
18 Posted 16/07/2020 at 10:54:42
As some state above; he's also made some good saves over the past few games.

He's a good keeper who needs to get back to basics and needs to concentrate for 90 minutes.

I personally think we have far bigger problems than in goal.

Trevor Powell
19 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:03:04
The old adage that if you don't notice the referee at a game then he has done his job well!

Does this apply to goalkeepers, as those listed above, ie Neville Southall, David Seaman, Nigel Martyn, Peter Schmeichel, David de Gea PLUS Gordon Banks and Pat Jennings? They go about their work without fuss or bother even through periods of poor form.

In the early seventies, I remember people raving about Andy Rankin making more brilliant saves than Gordon West. Perhaps, the reason was that GW's positional sense and reading of the game were in a different class!

Perhaps, Pickford should sit down and watch videos of these great goalkeepers and learn from them. I doubt it because he thinks he is Jack the Lad!

Fran Mitchell
20 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:03:19
Steven, the root of our problems? Really? The inability to pass the ball in midfield? The woeful distribution in the opposition half? The inability to close down and press the opposition? All that is Pickford's doing?
Joe Bibb
21 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:17:23
Drop him just like he drops the ball.
Andrew Hight
22 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:26:14
Could do with dropping as a wake up call and with nothing to play for can't see it doing much harm. Agreed we have bigger problems elsewhere
Gary Mortimer
23 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:26:35
Fran #6 - Totally agree.

Pickford may be a bit erratic and have too many rushes of blood that I'd prefer, but he is not going to stop us getting into the top 6 next season. The total lack of a half decent midfield is far more likely to hurt us.

Pace, passion, nous, will to win and general all round ability are qualities sadly lacking from our current crop of midfielders.

Long term? We may have to look elsewhere for a more consistent keeper, but we should prioritise a mobile centre back to play alongside Holgate and the aforementioned midfield first.

Tony Everan
24 Posted 16/07/2020 at 11:33:24
Carlo says he doesn't know if he needs competition. I would say he definitely needs it. The lad has difficulty with focus and concentration, having some proper competition would benefit him. A class senior 30 + keeper to push him and challenge him to start if he stalls. Who ? There must be one or two available somewhere in Europe who would jump at the chance.

Pickford is on easy street at the moment and it's doing him no good.

Steven Astley
26 Posted 16/07/2020 at 12:28:55
Fran #20 - Yes. He is the base of the team. All of the issues you have listed start from the back. A Goalkeeper can instill confidence in the rest of the team going forward.

The lad has nothing going for him, height, reach and can't even compensate that for positioning, concentration or attitude.

We know it. Whereas the rest of the Prem don't, 100% yet. So get rid of him before his reputation ends up like the last England No 1.

Kenny Smith
28 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:37:50
Don't think he's recovered at all from his assist for Origi's 97th minute winner last season to be honest.
I'd get rid because he's become a liability. He's probably better with his feet than his hands !
One good game followed by three more where he just doesn't impress is not good enough. He's supposed to save us points but instead he's costing us them. We could sell him now easily and recoup our money but give it a year and he'll be as sort after as Scott Carson and Butland.
James Flynn
29 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:39:32
Have no problem with Pickford being replaced. He's not going to suddenly become better.

He's 27 before the end of next season. 27 is only a young age for keepers because they don't suffer the wear and tear on the legs field players do. That's it. Beyond that, it's perfectly reasonable to expect them to have matured in the game as one does for a field player.

He was a Sunderland Youth player at 8. Unless someone can find information indicating otherwise, he's been a keeper then to now, 18 years. What exactly will our coaching staff teach him he doesn't already know?

If we begin to read of Everton interest in another keeper, we can figure that Jordan's days are numbered. Fine by me. He's simply not that good.

Nathan Ford
30 Posted 16/07/2020 at 14:56:58
Phil your comment on Pickford having ADHD I'm 100% behind you. My son was diagnosed at the age of 5 and had to have special education plans to help him in school. My boys now 14 and in comp but has to take medication to maintain concentration levels. Pickford has the same traits and mannerisms
Shane Corcoran
31 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:59:07
Pickford could be brilliant in years to come. Can Everton afford to stick by him to find out? I reckon not? Who is going to take him and take that chance?

The thing is, he has cost us very little in terms of points. The opposition haven't punished him at Leicester or Wolves. It should be a lot worse.

Bobby Mallon
32 Posted 16/07/2020 at 16:02:14
He's a good keeper with a bad midfield and defence in front of him. But I would put stek in goal for the next 3 games just as a goodbye to the bloke. We have f/ all to play for.
Fraser Auld
33 Posted 16/07/2020 at 16:44:38
He doesn't instil confidence does he? He's got good attributes, no doubt, but getting to the point where am expecting an error almost every game.

Doesn't seem to have the maturity or mentality to go with the undoubted natural ability.

Thing that really gets me about him, whenever he makes a bad error and is interviewed afterwards, he always says the same thing “I don't let it affect us, that's my mentality...” Which is great, to a point, provided you learn from it and don't keep making the same type of mistakes...which he isn't.

Bjørn-Ivar Pedersen
34 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:19:20
JIRI PAVLENKA, (6 ft 5 in), age 28, Czech international, current club Werder Bremen. Goalie off the season in 17/18 in Bundesliga 1. There guys are the answer to our headache. A Goalie in the Nigel Martyn mould.
Jerome Shields
35 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:28:33
Under Ancelotti there are no hiding places.
Darren Hind
36 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:44:25
What ????????

Our entire squad have been hiding for weeks

Paul Birmingham
37 Posted 16/07/2020 at 18:13:29
For me he deserves to be dropped but seemingly with rank peformances the last 2 weeks, perhaps in any preseason frindlies he will be sidelined, as perhaps the aim is to try and etc out improved performances this week.

The message must be that no one is untouchable at EFC. Players should play on merit, and not reputations, but Jordan is creating his own unique profile, can he change, his ways, I don't know.

Bad descision making and erratic goal kick and free kicking but combined with a non existent midfield and over stretched defence pulled out of shape when often filling in for midfield.

The team is under the cosh but his repeat error rate is increasing each season.

For the next few days, let's get x2 wins and rebuild ASAP, if. the money and transfer window can enable EFC to do so.

David Connor
38 Posted 16/07/2020 at 20:48:23
I've said it for 2 years now – the lad is thick as a brick and needs to go. Big Nev wasn't the brightest (Sorry, Nev). But he rolled his sleeves up and performed, week-in & week-out. The lad's had enough chances and keeps fucking up, week-in & week-out. Get rid.
Shaun McGough
39 Posted 16/07/2020 at 23:49:20
Carlo is old school and will protect him. Our problem is at root from Pickford: he doesn't command, he ducks out of 50-50s, he stays on his line forcing us to defend weakly and deep – especially from set plays, his distribution is average... and unfortunately we are stuck with him on big wages – and he knows it the kopites love ripping him.
Neil Cremin
40 Posted 17/07/2020 at 07:49:08
I have said it since he joined the club that he was a liability. Parrying the ball back into play for opposition to score, erratic when he clattered into the back of Ashley Williams, never commands his 6-yard box, constantly kicks the ball directly out of play, and worst of all constantly blaming his defence. I got a lot of abuse then but knew eventually Carlo would identify him as a problem. The comment is code for “He is for sale at the right price.”

Good teams are built from the back and that starts with a safe unspectacular keeper who defenders know that within the 6-yard area a keeper will claim most crosses.

I see comments that blame the defence in front of him for being so jittery, I would say that they are jittery because of what's behind them. I said during the Burnley game that Pope is much more assured and a good look at the table shows that we are well and truly part of the bottom half. Serious surgery required, starting with keeper and then buy players who:

1. Do the simple things well, like pass a ball;

2. Have the engine to drive the team;

3. Hate losing.

We keep looking to buy big-name players when there are loads who meet the above criteria.

David Pearl
42 Posted 17/07/2020 at 08:35:05
Versus Spurs, last minute... both centre backs go up top and wait for the keepers boot upfield for one last chance of an equaliser. Pickford aims his kick at Bernard, who doesn't win the ball in air, and that's that. He is challenged mentally. But still, I'd work with him.

How shit are we all over the pitch? Do we have one good wide player? One good midfielder? I'm going back to bed,

Justin Doone
43 Posted 17/07/2020 at 08:43:10
A new goalkeeper is not a priority but Carlo needs to stop the faffing around at the back. It only takes a half mistake and the opposition have a goal scoring chance.

Big risk, little reward. It doesn't get us up the pitch or attacking any quicker. We still struggle to find space and it often still ends up with a defender or keeper booting it clear.

If Carlo insists on this then he needs to to play more midfielders to help create spaces and passing options.

Brian Wilkinson
44 Posted 18/07/2020 at 15:08:31
De Gea has signed a 4-year contract for Man Utd. Surely Dean Henderson has got to be worth an enquiry? From what I have seen, he looks a decent goalkeeper and is still only 23.

Unless injured, he will not dislodge De Gea in Man Utd's eyes, that's where I think we could actually take one of their decent players for a change, instead of a crock or has-been, baring Neville and Howard in recent years.

Alan J Thompson
45 Posted 19/07/2020 at 08:31:38
I like to hear that the manager has seen a problem and taken steps to correct them rather than a knee jerk reaction of off-loading the player and hoping the next one doesn't creep under your guard.

My first reaction would be to tell him to concentrate more on what he is doing before worrying on where he needs to distribute the ball, a common fault in keepers at all levels.

Laurie Hartley
46 Posted 19/07/2020 at 09:41:22
Bjorn # 34 - I like the look of that keeper.


Nigel Martyn – what a goalkeeper and leader on the pitch.

John Davies
47 Posted 20/07/2020 at 13:59:23
Someone mentioned De Gea, just watched him today against Chelsea truly awful. He is also paid a fortune. Its a sad state of affairs..

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