Snodin: Top-Class Pickford Spreads Confidence Throughout England Side

by Peter Lennox

Ian Snodin praised Jordan Pickford’s “top-class temperament” and said the England goalkeeper “spreads confidence throughout the side” after the Everton stopper produced an accomplished performance in the Three Lions’ 6-1 thrashing of Panama on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s side booked their spot in the last 16 of the tournament with one group game to spare with a dominant display in Nizhny Novgorod.

And while the majority of the game was played out in the Panama half, Pickford’s command of his penalty area, focus and pinpoint distribution again impressed.

Indeed, the 24-year-old’s confidence and quality in possession on the ball was typical of vibrant, energetic England performance.

Skipper Harry Kane fired in a hat-trick, former Blues defender John Stones bagged a double and Jesse Lingard found the back of the net as England recorded their biggest ever World Cup victory. Panama's consolation came 12 minutes from time, Felipe Baloy’s precise half-volley finding the bottom corner.

The Three Lions bossed the game from start to finish, however, and it took until the 66-minute mark for Panama to force Pickford into a save. After a well-worked move, Edgar Barcenas played right-back Michael Murillo through on goal. Pickford was alert to shut down the angle, though, and make a fine stop.

Snodin – who played 191 times for Everton in an eight-year spell for the Club - was impressed with Pickford’s concentration levels and believes the unflappable stopper helps to spread belief throughout the England team.

“As a goalkeeper, it’s important to stay focused and Jordan has got the perfect temperament to be a top-class ‘keeper,” the Club Ambassador and 1987 title-winner told

“With that save he made, he was ready for it even though Panama had offered little threat going forward. You can see, he hates conceding goals and I think that’s fantastic. He is a winner.

“He is England’s number one for a reason, because Gareth Southgate absolutely believes in him and his ability. He has shown he is a top-class performer all season with Everton.

“Having a good keeper behind you gives you so much confidence and it spreads throughout the team. I know from my playing career, when I had Neville Southall behind me, how much an impact that can have.

“I’m sure, with England, Jordan is always talking to his backline because he is a good communicator. He’s a good talker on the field and I’m sure they are delighted to have Jordan behind them.

“You can see the confidence he has around Finch Farm, he is a bubbly character. He’s a great lad to have in the dressing room.

“I think he has got the attitude and the ability to be Everton’s number one and England’s number one for many years to come.”

Next up for Pickford and England is a clash with Roberto Martinez’s Belgium on Thursday, with the victors qualifying for the last 16 as group winners.

Snodin says England will head into the game in Kaliningrad in buoyant mood and has urged Southgate’s men to continue to play with the freedom and positivity that was so evident against Panama.
“I’m optimistic, I hope we keep playing with enthusiasm,” he said.

“I look at England’s two performances, I think we’ve got energy, we’ve got good young players, and we’ve got Harry Kane up front who is always going to score goals.

“I’ve been very impressed with the movement and energy in the side. That win will have given the lads a huge lift – and although Belgium will be a much more difficult game – I’m sure the lads can’t wait for it now.

“Gareth Southgate’s got great team spirit among the squad and the nation is completely behind them.”

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