England goalkeeping coach says Pickford can improve technique

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Manchester United - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - November 7, 2020 Everton's Jordan Pickford during the warm up before the match Pool via REUTERS/Carl Recine

(Reuters) - England goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson believes under-fire Everton shot-stopper Jordan Pickford must pay more attention to the finer technical details to improve his form for club and country.

Pickford was benched for Everton’s Premier League game with Newcastle United this month following some erratic performances but England manager Gareth Southgate said that the 26-year-old is without a serious challenger in the national team.

Margetson highlighted a save Pickford made to deny Dele Alli in Everton’s league opener at Tottenham Hotspur and said during a show on Sky Sports earlier this week that the player was making life difficult for himself.

“If you look at his final set position, he’s got virtually a 90-degree knee bend, which then makes his hands too low,” Margetson told Sky Sports.

“... Your hand position is absolutely key to your success. They’re the quickest things that can react and if your hands are too low... like in this instance, (when) the ball is struck above Jordan’s head.

“If he starts with his hands a bit higher, then that save becomes easier.

“When you get to Pickford’s level, that type of detail, your final set position when attackers make ball contact are the choices as a goalkeeper that win you and lose you games.”

British media reported England back-up Nick Pope could don the gloves in Thursday’s friendly with Ireland and that Pickford is likely to return for Sunday’s Nations League clash against Belgium.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore