Overview of Player
Position : Goalkeeper
World cup influence: 7/10
Overview of Nation
After a dismal Euro 2016 campaign, England needed to regroup and start performing to qualify for the World Cup, and England need to improve over the last two World Cup performances, just scraping through the group stages to then be embarrassed by a young German side in 2010. The World Cup after that they were knocked out of the group stages rather meekly by Uruguay.
After Sam Allardyce’s unusual departure, England appointed Gareth Southgate to qualify for England. They finished top of the group, unbeaten, including beating and drawing against rivals Scotland (who didn’t qualify).
Another fact is England are unbeaten in all their friendlies, including wins against Holland, Nigeria and Costa Rica, whilst getting draws against Brazil and Germany. This is a young England squad and I can see them being the surprise package of the tournament.
PERFORMANCE OF PLAYER IN QUALIFICATION
With only 3 caps for England, it’s a bit hard for me to write about, so I’ll focus on his club performances as well. Jordan had a fantastic season at Sunderland during the 16/17 season, if it wasn’t for him and Jermain Defoe they would have got relegated months before hand. Memorable performances include Bournemouth (A), Leicester and Hull (H) and a sublime performance at Arsenal which deserved a clean sheet. Because of this and our relegation he moved to Everton in the summer of 2017, and has performed just as brilliantly.
When he has been picked for England he’s been sublime, a bit shaky to start with but he’s been solid for the team. If he’s picked to start for England he’ll be England’s youngest ever Goalkeeper – quite an honour.
Pickford has quite a few strengths that would come in handy at the World Cup. His distribution, like I point out later in the article will come in handy, especially if we need to hit a team on the break, his reflexes will also useful, the amount of times he’s made a double save for Sunderland and Everton is unreal.
Unfortunately Pickford has a few weaknesses, his biggest one is his inexperience and age. He is prone to sometimes coming off his line when he doesn’t need to. But again this could be down to him being still quite young for a keeper and he’ll learn not to as he gets older.
Why he’s one to watch?
Simply, he’s one of the best keepers in England, and with experience hopefully he’ll be one of the best in the world in time. He’s always bossing the defence around, making sure they’re set up correctly for a set piece, his reflexes are absolutely class, and with him being young they’ll get even better.
His kicking is one of the best I’ve seen, he’s almost like a trained sniper. Nearly every ball finds its target. He’s brave as well, he’ll quite happily charge out at the risk of getting injured to make the save. England for years have needed a keeper like Pickford and I’m sure he’ll be part of the highlight reel of many world cup games for England.
VIDEO OF PLAYER/COMPILATION
Pickford’s highlights for Sunderland during the 2016/17 campaign. Absolute unreal saves!
Jordan Pickford’s stats on Football Manager are pretty good. Especially with his kicking at 16, his communication at 18 and his reflexes at 17 which for his age is brilliant, it’s no wonder Bayern Munich are scouting him and its one of the reasons why he deserves to start at the World Cup.
This isn’t the only ‘One to Watch’, we are releasing a one to watch article for every nation in the World Cup. An hour before each team kick off their first World Cup Group Stage game, we will release that nations one to watch. These can be viewed here – One to Watch for all Nations in World Cup 2018
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