Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford fired back at the constant criticism he receives, describing the jibes as just “noise”.
Pickford has risen to become his country’s No. 1 between the sticks despite occasionally patchy form at club level. Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has always kept faith with the stopper, and few could argue he hasn’t be justified as a result.
Pickford has excelled on the international stage, and saved two penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout that ultimately ended in defeat.
But scenes such as Pickford dropping a clanger versus Man Utd in pre-season have been all too common for the Toffees.
Perhaps with his club outings in mind, the Liverpool Echo note frequent criticism has emerged from the likes of Ian Wright, Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Lee Dixon when covering England matches in their role as pundits.
Even Jose Mourinho questioned Pickford’s temperament during Euro 2020. The ex-Man Utd and Chelsea boss revealed Pickford was the “only one” he had reservations over ahead of the final.
Now, the Echo carry quotes from Pickford who has responded to the critics. And in typical feisty Pickford fashion, the 27-year-old insisted the pundits can criticise all they want, but their barbs will not affect him one bit.
“Let them talk! It’s noise,” said the stopper. “I feel like I’ve got my job to do, they’ve got their job to do.
“I’m focused on doing everything I can on the training pitch like always. Giving 100 percent, always improving, trying to get that one or two percent better each time, keeping clean sheets.
“I think if they are still making noise then it’s a good thing really. For me, it’s just performing on the pitch and not getting distracted by any of that.”
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“As a kid, you always dream to pull the England shirt. Sometimes I hold my hand up, in the past for Everton I’ve made a few errors.
“But you can only learn from them really and I feel like that’s what I’m doing.
“For England, when I pull that shirt on, I’m just the same person, just giving my all all the time and hoping to clean sheets. It’s definitely a magic shirt.”
Everton sanctioned sale at huge discount
Meanwhile, Everton chose to sell Bernard for £1million this summer following the collapse of the winger’s alternative £9million exit route, a report claims.
Bernard joined Sharjah FC in the United Arab Emirates in July. According to Football Insider, that deal came in at £1m. That represents s a profit for the Merseyside club, who signed Bernard on a free.
However, the report adds that Everton could have made a significantly larger profit had a previous deal gone through.
Bernard reportedly came close to signing for fellow UAE side Al-Nasr earlier this year. In fact, the two clubs were in ‘advanced’ talks over a £9million deal. However, the deal collapsed at the final hour, forcing Everton to look elsewhere.
Despite losing out on a bigger potential profit, Football Insider reports that Everton wanted to move Bernard on to free up room on their wage bill.