Five players England must build now around - 7 months ago, 12 July 14:37

By: Daniel Storey

Jordan Pickford
It’s easy to forget how many difficult decisions Gareth Southgate had to make before this World Cup. In the goalkeeping department alone, there were calls from some for Joe Hart to be taken to Russia and calls from others for Jack Butland to be England’s starting goalkeeper. As Andy Dunn, chief sports writer of the Daily Mirror wrote with no little snark: ‘That’s a goalkeeper, with a relatively ­recent relegation to his name, who has done little but fish the ball out of his net in the last two seasons.’

Pickford has emerged as one of England’s best players in this tournament, the goalkeeper that Hart thinks he still is. There is passion and a degree of chest-beating after spectacular saves, but also consistency and calm to go with it. Most importantly for Southgate’s style, Pickford’s distribution is exemplary.

History shows England that while competition for places in goal is ...
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Category: sports football


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