Expert: Everton first-teamer should start for England v Brazil
By George Brooks
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford should keep his place in the England side, according to the Guardian’s chief football writer Daniel Taylor.
The 23-year-old impressed on his international debut last night as The Three Lions played out an entertaining goalless draw with world champions Germany at Wembley.
Pickford was called into action in the first minute, reacting quickly to a poor back-pass from defender Harry Maguire.
The former Sunderland shot stopper then kept his side in contention with two outstanding first-half saves to deny striker Timo Werner.
Taylor believes Pickford did enough to secure his place in the starting XI for the visit of five-time World Cup winners Brazil on Tuesday.
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“On this evidence, Joe Hart might be a touch fortunate to regain his place when Brazil visit Wembley on Tuesday. Pickford looked supremely confident,” wrote Taylor, The Guardian and Observer’s chief football writer.
“Southgate should be absolutely clear now that Pickford is not fazed by the big occasion but, on the flip-side, he might not be too thrilled his goalkeeper was involved so much.”
England manager Gareth Southgate raised eyebrows when he announced that West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart remained his first-choice.
The England boss had planned to give Stoke’s Jack Butland a chance in the back-to-back friendly matches before the goalkeeper had to withdraw from the squad with a broken finger.
This opened the door for Pickford and the highly-rated goalkeeper seized the opportunity with both hands.
He was one of five players making their Three Lions debut last night, as Southgate fielded England’s most inexperienced side since 1980.