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David James has praised Jordan Pickford for reflecting criticism

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11 Jun 2021
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David James

Following a challenge from Pickford in October’s Merseyside derby, the Liverpool defender suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury, which ruled him out for the season and this summer’s European Championship.

James thinks Jordan has failed a dip in form

Ex-England keeper David James has praised Jordan Pickford for reflecting criticism for his role in the injury to Virgil van Dijk. Following a challenge from Pickford in October’s Merseyside derby, the Liverpool defender suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury, which ruled him out for the season and this summer’s European Championship. Former Reds keeper James thinks Pickford has failed a dip in form because of extra inspection but says he is back to his best for Euro 2020, with the Everton man set to kick-off for England in Sunday’s opener against Croatia. “It was a foul, from my point of view, but it is what Jordan was always doing or naturally do – there was no intent to harm anybody,” James told reporters. “For Pickford, that could in part have affected some indifferent form because, in the end, it was Liverpool’s Van Dijk.”

Pickford has been criticised for being too fired up for big games

“It wasn’t some young Fulham defender who most people wouldn’t have recognized, and this was one of the best defenders in the world from the Premier League champions so that the conversation would rumble further and further. For him to come through that and to be in the form that was at the end of the campaign, competing, that shows a positive mark of maturity from him.” Jordan has also come under criticism for being too fired up for major games – an accusation that was also fired at his predecessor Joe Hart. But James says the keeper of the Three Lions should be judged on how he plays for the national team and says he never let Gareth Southgate down. “There must be a sweet spot for any player. Some of them are calm, some are more energetic,” added James.

“When it comes to England, he plays remarkably well. All this energetic behaviour to pump himself up, it works for England. Jordan does whatever he needs to do to get England over the line, is not a problem.”

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