Former England international and football pundit Ian Wright has criticized Everton’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, for his role in the Toffees’ 1-1 draw against Brighton over the weekend, writes the Goodison.News. The match at Goodison Park saw Everton squander a lead and share the points with the Seagulls, and Pickford’s performance has come under scrutiny.
Initially, Everton appeared to be on course for a victory, but an unfortunate own goal by Ashley Young allowed Brighton to leave with a share of the spoils. The primary question raised after the match centered on whether Jordan Pickford could have reacted differently and done better in response to the wicked deflection that led to Brighton’s equalizing goal.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, Ian Wright expressed his thoughts on the situation, remarking, “One of those you have to feel sorry for Ashley Young. Takes the blame for that. I see where the keeper is at. He’s got to do better.”
However, Wright’s sympathy for Ashley Young was limited, as he emphasized the full-back’s struggles during the game, stating, “Wright cannot say that he feels sorry for Young as the full-back was being terrorized by Mitoma during the game. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that’s slightly unlucky, but he should not have been on the pitch in the first place.”
Wright’s criticism primarily targets Jordan Pickford’s positioning and decision-making in response to the deflected ball. He argues that Pickford, unaware of the impending deflection, might have taken a more advantageous position to clear the danger.
In light of Everton’s defensive options, the former Arsenal striker believes that manager Sean Dyche should consider alternatives rather than starting Ashley Young. With Seamus Coleman’s return and Nathan Patterson still available, there are viable options that Dyche can explore, especially given Young’s inconsistent performances.
Ian Wright acknowledges the demanding nature of the full-back role and Young’s age, highlighting that his best days as a player may be behind him. When Everton recruited Young, it was with the intention of providing cover in multiple positions, rather than designating him as a regular starter for the Toffees.
The discussion surrounding Everton’s defensive choices and Jordan Pickford’s performance serves as a testament to the evolving dynamics and challenges faced by the team as they seek to maintain their form and compete at the highest level in the Premier League.