As soon as the words ‘I won’t blunder like Alisson’ left Jordan Pickford’s mouth he must have known he had consigned himself to make several high profile errors this season.
That is just the way it goes.
After morphing into an English Gigi Buffon with added northern grit at the World Cup this summer, Pickford has been severely underwhelming in the good ol’ Barclays this season.
But he isn’t the only member of that squad who played out of their skins in Russia only to come back down to earth with a bump this season – Kieran Trippier and Harry Maguire have both had acute problems readjusting to club football after a summer of highs.
The problem now is not that these three players are still suffering World Cup hangovers, but maybe they have just returned to their level.
It’s a sad reality but one we might have to face.
This is not us being cruel to the absolute heroes of our summer, look at the stats.
Pickford has rarely looked like the solid glovesman we came to know and love as he masterminded England’s first World Cup penalty shoot out success ever.
He’s kept just five clean sheets in 22 league appearances this season and his shakiness between the sticks has seen him make three errors leading directly to goals.
Despite playing behind Everton’s somewhat wobbly defence, Pickford has also conceded 31 goals this season.
There was the huge gaffe that handed Liverpool the winner in the Merseyside derby and then he dropped another clanger against Spurs as he collided with Kurt Zouma to give Heung-min Son the simplest of finishes.
We feel like pure s***, just want our Pickford from the summer back.
This weekend was a stark reminder of Trippier’s struggles in a Spurs shirt.
Just before half-time against United he made another inglorious mistake as his weak pass was cut out by Jesse Lingard and led directly to Marcus Rashford’s winner.
That comes after slip ups against Man City and Wolves this year.
Instead of the the man with a laser-guided right boot that we saw in Russia, Trippier looks like a player with all the confidence but unfortunately not quite enough of the ability to be considered world class.
Trippier has helped Spurs to seven clean sheets this season, but his problems boil down to begin unable to replicate his attacking prowess that we saw in the summer.
Maybe it’s time to accept that Trippier was playing out of his skin at the World Cup and what we are seeing these days is where he is truly at.
Meanwhile, Leicester’s Maguire became a cult hero following several imperious displays in Russia, he was even given the nickname ‘Slabhead’ for the gargantuan block of meat on his shoulders.
The man who could head away cement blocks in the summer was thrown into the Premier League from the first day against United and the lack of rest means he hasn’t been able to recapture his composure at the back.
The Foxes have been painfully mediocre this term and Maguire has pretty much encapsulated that.
His tackle success rate sits at 59%, he’s kept four clean sheets and Leicester have won roughly half of their games.
It’s a shame we will never know what could have happened if he’d have swapped the King Power for Old Trafford in the summer.
It could have even saved a certain Jose Mourinho too.
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