Pickford building big reputation as England's next great goalkeeper

Yolanda Curtis
July 7, 2018

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois insists his highly publicised recent comments on Jordan Pickford were not meant to belittle England's number one.

And, secondly, he insists Carlos Bacca had a legitimate goal ruled out in extra-time, which would have given Colombia a 2-1 lead.

The Spurs midfielder was a special guest on Wednesday's edition of the Lions' Den, following his match-winning penalty in the victory over Colombia the previous night.

Peter Shilton, England's goalkeeper the last time they made the last four, at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, was among those impressed at not just Pickford's shot stopping, but his character in bellowing instructions to his defence at every opportunity.

Eventually, it was Gareth Southgate's men that emerged victorious after 10 spot-kicks, taking them into the quarter-finals.

"I only said that, because he got a touch, I would have saved it because I am 15 centimetres taller, but I never mocked his height". "We know our ability, and it's all about togetherness".

The Three Lions ended their penalty shootout hoodoo by beating the South American side after a bad-tempered affair had ended 1-1.

On the decisive save to stop Bacca, the 24-year-old told BBC Radio: "I was in a massive whirlwind but I saved it with my left hand".

He also backed him up with two more inexperienced keepers in the shape of Jack Butland (eight caps) and Nick Pope (one), leaving behind long-term regular Joe Hart. I just got down to business really.

Southgate could have played it safe and kept faith with the experienced Hart, despite his struggles this season, but went with form, and youth, and has been amply vindicated. Once we were sorted we got the superb metro into Moscow for a big of sightseeing in Red Square.

"We're going away to Lincoln at the weekend but we'll certainly all be watching and shouting them on", said John, who supports Hartlepool United and Newcastle United as well as the national team.

"He said to me "well done you fellow Mackem".

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