Published 09 June 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team
Pickford ready to keep the rave going
Jordan Pickford is once again heading to a major tournament with the privilege of wearing England’s infamous number one on his back and will also be pulling a few of his old stunts to help ‘get the rave on’ this summer.
Speaking to the England Podcast host Adam Smith, Pickford discussed his admiration for manager Gareth Southgate and the players that he’s picked in his final 26-man squad for UEFA EURO 2020.
The shot stopper has been part of the Three Lions senior set up since 2017, gaining 31 caps in that time, and despite being just 27 he now ranks as one of the older members of the group.
The youthfulness, however, is no substitute for talent according to the Everton man, who has been impressed with what is England’s youngest squad at a major tournament since 1958.
“I think the manager is brilliant,” said Pickford. “He’s down to earth and you can have a chat with him any time but the best thing about him is when we train, we train properly and then when we have down time, it’s relaxed.
“He wants you to enjoy it and for me, whenever I come away with England, I love it.
"The ability and the talent of the young players we’ve got too - I feel quite senior here and I’m only 27 you know. When we’re training with the lads, the standard is another level.
“I was never that young when I got in the squad so that just shows how much talent the youth teams have now.”
Pickford was one of England’s heroes on their way to the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, saving a penalty from Colombia’s Carlos Bacca in the quarter-final shootout.
Not only is he capable of producing match-winning saves but he also proved he can stick them away by scoring, and then immediately saving, against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League two summers ago.
“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into that of course, and the backroom staff do a lot, but I’ve just got to go the right way and give myself a chance to save,” he said.
“That moment [in Russia] was great but hopefully this time we won’t have to go to a shootout.
“It will start filtering in slowly [working on penalties] but with any game you play, in the league as well, you always do your homework on the opposition penalty takers and the free-kick takers too.
“I’ll be making sure I put plenty of practice into taking them too because you need to be there for your team if called upon, I’ll step up and take one. There’s a lot of quality finishers in this group so I might be bumped down the pecking order a bit this time.”
Off the pitch Pickford has also been known to love his house music and went to Russia with the phrase ‘get the rave on’ stitched onto his boots.
On the podcast, he confirmed that he will once again be carrying his famous slogan on his footwear and will be opting out of the dressing room playlist in favour of his own, quite unique, preference.
“We all pick a few tunes and stick them on a playlist for the dressing room but I’ll have my own tunes going in my headphones.
“There will be some house music and some bounce going on. I’ve already got my boots sorted.
“I don’t want to be too pumped so there will probably be a bit more of a chilled vibe but still house music.”
08 Jun 2021 22:59
Keepers at work
Watch Jordan and the rest of the England goalkeepers in training ahead of EURO 2020