Everton boss dismisses claims Jordan Pickford tackle was premeditated

Lane Dias October 22, 2020
Everton boss dismisses claims Jordan Pickford tackle was premeditated
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed suggestions that Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Virgil van Dijk was ‘premeditated’, according to the club’s official website.

The 26-year-old had impeded the Liverpool defender in the penalty area, but escaped punishment, due to the centre-back being offside.

The Italian addressed the claims that the Englishman deliberately attempted to injure the defender in the Merseyside derby.

‘Too much’

Speaking to EvertonTV, Ancelotti defended his number one, insisting the ‘keeper only had intentions for the ball.

He also indicated that the reported accusations were over the top and admitted that Pickford was distraught for the Dutchman.

“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball,” Ancelotti said.

“It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.

“To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much.

“Virgil van Dijk knows this.

“Jordan is really sad, really disappointed [that Van Dijk is injured].”

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

‘We are really sorry’

Van Dijk faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury, which requires surgery.

He is expected to miss the rest of the season and could potentially be a blow to the Netherlands’ European Championship aspirations.

The Blues boss sent his best wishes to the Reds player and was adamant that everyone at the club was empathetic to the Dutchman’s predicament.

“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk.

“Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.”

‘In football it can happen’

However, he did suggest that the injury was part of the sport, especially considering the pace and tempo of the Premier League and its intensity.

The Italian suggested that it is quite common to catch a player in the follow-through of a tackle, when players are moving at pace.

“There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact.

“But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.”

“It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football it can happen.”

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BA (Hons) First Class degree in Sports Journalism at the University of East London. Sports fan, avid traveller, foodie and lover of films and tv.