‘I don’t think Pickford is a world-class goalkeeper’ – Jordan Pickford proves Gary Neville wrong

Gary Neville has revised his opinion on Jordan Pickford and now recognizes him as a crucial factor in Everton’s successful bid to remain in the Premier League, writes the LiverpoolEcho.

During the crucial stages of the relegation battle, Pickford, England’s number one goalkeeper, stepped up when Everton needed him the most. His dramatic penalty save against Leicester City last month proved to be a pivotal moment as Sean Dyche guided Everton to safety.

On the final day of the season, Pickford made a crucial last-gasp save against Matias Vina, preserving his clean sheet and securing Everton’s top-flight status. Despite the team’s defensive struggles, Pickford’s eight clean sheets in the 2022/23 season served as a solid foundation for their survival. Under Dyche’s management, Everton achieved four 1-0 victories.

Gary Neville, a legendary Manchester United player, praised Pickford for his role in Everton’s survival. However, the two have had a subtle feud in recent years. In 2019, Neville criticized Pickford, accusing him of displaying inappropriate behavior by “laughing” after conceding a goal against Manchester City.

“Why is Jordan Pickford laughing? I don’t know what’s funny,” Neville said. “It’s not funny. He should have saved the second goal and nearly cost his team a fourth.”

This provoked a harsh response from Pickford ahead of Euro 2020: “It does **** you off. The press, the punters, everybody. Look at Gary Neville, they just want to come for England players.

“Everyone gets stick. That’s part of being an England player. You have got to live with it, you have got to learn. Every England player gets stick. Everyone hates you, for some reason. I just get on with it. I know what I am capable of and I know what I am good at.”

However, it seems that Neville has changed his stance on criticizing Pickford and now recognizes him as the player who made a significant impact on Everton’s season. In contrast, teams like Leicester City and Leeds United, who were relegated, made changes in their goalkeeper position throughout the campaign.

Neville told The Overlap: “I don’t think Pickford is a world-class goalkeeper. But if you look at those three teams that were vying to go down, Leeds’ problems were with their goalkeeper, Leicester’s problems with theirs and then you look at Pickford who has actually been stable for Everton.

“That could be the difference. That purely could be the difference in the point or two points or whatever it is.”