Football

Pickford likely to get Holland nod

Jordan Pickford has won the fight to be England's No. 1 when the Three Lions take on Holland at the Amsterdam ArenA tomorrow morning (Singapore time), according to the British media.

They reported that the Everton custodian won over the coaching staff with his distribution skills, which are essential to manager Gareth Southgate's desire to play out from the back.

Former England and Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland agrees that Pickford should be the No. 1 at the World Cup.

He told talkSPORT: "He's got everything - his distribution, his domination of the box, his shot stopping… everything.

"I'm a big, big fan of this.

"I didn't see a weakness training with him every day (at Preston North End). He is such a confident lad in his own ability; he knows he's good… he knows he's very good."

Former Middlesbrough and Australia No. 1 Mark Schwarzer, however, believes Pickford is too inexperienced to be first choice for his country.

He told Sky Sports: "He's still a very inexperienced goalkeeper. He's still very young and got so much to learn...

"I don't think he's quite ready to be England's number one. (Jack) Butland has more experience in the Premier League but it really depends on how they perform now under the pressure of playing for England...

"If (Joe) Hart plays between now and the end of the season and plays well, then there's no decision to be made.

"Based on his previous performances and the potential good performances, he would warrant selection as England's first-choice goalkeeper."

But England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks isn't convinced Hart is the right man. He said in December: "I don't think he is playing well, especially when they kick it to him and he can't pick up. I see him make terrible mistakes, lots of times he is lucky they don't score."

Football