Pickford's penalty save earns point for England U21s

Friday, 16 June, 2017 18comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton's new signing Jordan Pickford came to England U21s' rescue in their Group A game with Sweden in Kielce, Poland this evening with a vital save.

The £30m acquisition from Sunderland had enjoyed a fairly comfortable evening against the Swedes' U21s until he watched Pawel Cibicki's shot rattle off his crossbar and then saw new Goodison team-mate Mason Holgate pull off a terrific saving tackle.

He was put to the test with 10 minutes to go, though, when Sweden were awarded a penalty but he wasn't fooled when Linus Wahlqvist's tried to beat him with a spot kick straight down the middle, batting the ball away with a strong right hand.

The game ended 0-0 and England will now face Slovakia on Monday.  

Reader Comments (18)

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Jay Wood
1 Posted 16/06/2017 at 18:40:35
Poor penalty decision given in the first place. Poor penalty kick by the Swede who tried to chip Pickford down the middle.

Although on his knees, Pickford stuck up his right mitt to keep the ball out and easily gathered in the follow up.

Brian Cleveland
2 Posted 16/06/2017 at 19:14:26
He did manage to drop an easy cross under his bar towards the end though, which fortunately wasn't costly.

In terms of Holgate, steady as usual and that one terrific saving tackle... but definitely needs to work on his crossing when he gets forward.

Gio Mero
3 Posted 16/06/2017 at 19:53:21
Lev Vellene
4 Posted 16/06/2017 at 20:56:29
Ooh, Jay! He made it in the end! ???

Brian, should we sell him next season, or do you see some small hope?

Steve Jones
5 Posted 16/06/2017 at 21:11:40
Liking his comment on the save:

"I just waited a bit longer, held my ground, dived to the left and got my top hand to it. It's what you do,'' he told Sky Sports.

No mucking about – that was the job: job done! If that's his attitude all-round, he'll do for me!

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 16/06/2017 at 21:35:47
I only saw the second half; if the first half was the same as the second I didn't miss much.

Pickford held his nerve and saved the penalty, didn't have much to do, dropped a centre that should have been a routine save. He seems a confidant lad giving loads of instructions to his defenders, hard to judge him on 45 minutes.

Holgate made a great tackle stopping a Swedish striker with a clean run on goal. England were poor on the attack and Sweden had most of the game I saw without giving Pickford a lot to do, apart from one shot that hit the bar with the keeper well beaten.

Jay Wood
7 Posted 16/06/2017 at 21:46:26
I watched the whole game, Dave.

England were totally dominant in the first half-hour and Sweden could barely get out of their half. Holgate was prominent down the right but, as we've seen, overhit pretty much all of his crosses. He was otherwise solid defensively, both with his tackling and speed of recovery.

Pickford didn't have a save to make in the 1st half, but twice he quickly gathered the ball in and once kicked long and accurately, the second time a quick, flat and speedy throw out to swiftly put England on the front foot each time.

By half-time Sweden pushed out more and had parity without really threatening the England goal.

England never regained their opening initiative in the 2nd half and Sweden were probably the better of the two without ever really testing Pickford.

I thought the penalty decision was an awful one. The lad cleanly won the ball without raising his foot. Video referral would surely have overturned the ref's ruling.

The penalty kick was awful, but it still has to be saved and Pickford did that. As you and others mentioned, he did flap at a routine cross he should have easily gathered in, but no harm came from it.

The U-20 games offered far more entertainment and interest.

Jon Cox
9 Posted 16/06/2017 at 23:12:59
Englandland, I don't see what the problem is.

What's wrong with side-to-side crab and backwards football.

More of it, I say! ;-)

John Pierce
10 Posted 17/06/2017 at 03:19:11
The penalty was a referee trying to apply the law correctly, with the player's follow-through the issue, but not having enough 'feel' for the game.

Jay's description of the game was accurate. England 1st half, stuttered through the 2nd, Sweden better.

As for Pickford, (cross aside) he was steady, even the penalty save was regulation, as was the follow-up.

Good presence and his trademark distribution evident.

Holgate can't cross but, then again, he is a centre-half. Not very impressed with any of the others, bar Abrahams looked lively.

Ajay Gopal
11 Posted 17/06/2017 at 04:08:20
Jay, did Holgate play right back or the right centre-back of a back 3?

I notice the press starting to put pressure on Pickford and referring to him as the £30 million goal-keeper. There will be many (non Evertonians) who will dissect his every action and gleefully highlight his every mistake.

Evertonians need to get behind him, keep expectations realistic especially in the first season. Even De Gea did not really impress in his first season at Man United, and then gradually improved to become one of the best in the world. Pickford will need time and patience, and fortunately he will play in front of one of the most knowledgeable supporters in the game!

Brian Porter
12 Posted 17/06/2017 at 06:25:52
Having seen both the U20s and now the U21s in action, I have to say I found the U20s far more together as a team and consequently they possessed a much greater threat going forward.

Some of the U21s looked lethargic and gave me the impression they were just meeting for the first time. No great hopes of them completing a double for England, but hope they can prove me wrong.

Tim Kells
13 Posted 17/06/2017 at 07:23:04
Brian, totally agree. I thought the U20s were far more entertaining to watch. Yesterday, the U21s seemed to run out of ideas and lump it forward at every opportunity to try and find Abrahams, who by all accounts Chelsea will offer a new contract at £50k a week shortly! (I thought he was useless personally.)

As others have said, Holgate had a lot to do down his side and defended very well, but let himself down with his crossing.

Len Hawkins
14 Posted 17/06/2017 at 07:47:37
Well, I might as well join in with the "he hasn't played a game for us yet but I think he is crap" brigade. Why oh why did Pickford not drop the ball at his feet then dribble his way up the field beating every opposition player on the way then hit a shot so hard at the Swedish goalie that he was taken into the net by the power of the shot?

God almighty, Dignitas is finished, come on here if you want to end it all death is a blessed relief after reading a few threads.

I'll bet anyone a Thousand Tramadol to a couple of drops of cyanide that he is Everton's first choice goalie next season.

James Newcombe
15 Posted 17/06/2017 at 10:38:31
That's a great point, Ajay, we really do need to get behind him as the media and other fans are going to be falling over themselves to tear "£30m goalkeeper Pickford (who do Everton think they are?)" down.
Andy Osborne
17 Posted 17/06/2017 at 15:24:23
Just watched Jordan Pickford's post-match interview. First thing that sprang to mind was Big Nev. No nonsense, straight taking guy. He's only young, but I'm pretty sure Southall was 23 when he joined us.

I hope he is even half as good as the best goalie ever to pull the Everton shirt on. I think he is a similar kind of goalie too. Throw his body at anything.

Jay Wood
18 Posted 17/06/2017 at 15:33:27
Ajay @11.

To answer your question, England played a flat back four and Holgate played right back, exactly as Koeman has pretty much played him all season.

More than one seasoned coach not yet willing to play him at centre back just yet then.

He had a good game, but his crossing as ever was poor, as was Chilwell's on the other flank from left back.

Kim Vivian
19 Posted 17/06/2017 at 15:48:48
Len Hawkins – Bloody brilliant post, mate.
Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 17/06/2017 at 16:14:09
Brian (#12), that's an excellent point about the under 20'S, looking so much more like a team, because it's just not something England's national team's do very often, and is probably the main reason why they don't really excel.

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