Carlo Ancelotti backed Jordan Pickford during his press conference ahead of this weekend’s derby, comparing his goalkeeper’s situation to Alisson Becker at Liverpool.
The arch rivals meet tomorrow (5.30pm), with both goalkeepers coming under fire in recent weeks. But the Italian has no doubts about either shot-stopper.
Ancelotti said: “Criticism is part of our job. Alisson knows this, Pickford knows this, everyone knows this.
“Who doesn’t make mistakes? No-one. So we have to accept it sometimes. But you don’t have to put into the discussion the quality of Alisson or Pickford.”
The England and Everton number one has endured a rough ride this season.
Questionable decision-making and unforgiving mistakes have littered his performances.
However, being punished by opponents hasn’t always seen Pickford punished by his managers.
Until, that is, Ancelotti dropped Pickford for Everton’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United in November.
It was the first time Pickford had missed a Premier League game for Everton since he signed from Sunderland for £30 million in 2017 (Sky Sports).
Ancelotti gave Robin Olsen another run out in goal for the 2-0 win against Leicester City, while Pickford picked up a rare injury that ruled him out of three fixtures.
The England stopper was back in goal for the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City this week.
Becker – not much better
Alisson has been going through his own turmoil.
Unthinkable blunders against Manchester City and a disaster moment at Leicester left questions hanging over the Brazilian’s temperament.
However, Alisson returned to form quickly with a clean sheet in the Champions League win at RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, inquests will start again if the Brazil international slips up in such an important game tomorrow.
Pickford and Alisson face off once more following the 2-2 derby draw at Goodison Park earlier this season.
Pickford certainly isn’t Mr Popular at Anfield after his reckless challenge left Liverpool icon Virgil van Dijk unlikely to play again this season.
At the end of the day, who’d be a goalkeeper?
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