Jordan Pickford has revealed that he was not allowed to do his usual ‘process’ during England’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Switzerland on Saturday.

The Three Lions goalkeeper kept up his record of saving at least one penalty in every shootout he’s been involved in for England by keeping out Manuel Akanji’s effort.

It proved a crucial save as England converted all of their spot-kicks to triumph 5-3 on penalties and move into the Euro 2024 semi-finals.

But Pickford has admitted he had to adapt after Italian referee Daniele Orsato prevented him from doing his specific routine, and he had a theory as to why the mix-up occurred.

‘I asked him before the penalties started, I said “I’ve got a process”,’ Pickford explained to BBC Sport.

Jordan Pickford has revealed that Italian referee Daniele Orsato stopped him from doing his usual ‘process’ during Saturday’s penalty shootout

Pickford wanted to give England's penalty takers the ball, but Orsato stopped him

Pickford wanted to give England’s penalty takers the ball, but Orsato stopped him

Play on

‘Maybe he didn’t understand my Mackem accent! But then stopped me after I saved the first one. He must have realised “Oh, I’m not letting him do it anymore”. 

Read More

Spot kick expert highlights England’s ‘shootout innovations’ compared to Euro 2020 loss

article image

‘But it didn’t affect me, I just had to do as much as I could. I didn’t want to get booked or anything, I didn’t want to create dramas.’

England made a number of changes to their approach to Saturday’s shootout after suffering a heartbreaking defeat by Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.

This included ensuring all the players had a ‘buddy’ to greet them as they walked back from their penalty and not having the squad interlocking arms in the centre circle to create and ‘Us vs You’ mentality.

They had also planned for Pickford to give the ball to every penalty taker, but Pickford stated that he was stopped from doing this as well. 

‘I like to give the lads the ball as part of my process for them to give them that comfort when they’re walking to the spot,’ he continued.

Pickford has saved four out of 14 penalties in major tournaments, stepping up to the plate time and time again for his country

Pickford has saved four out of 14 penalties in major tournaments, stepping up to the plate time and time again for his country

‘The referee took control of that as well, but the lads got the ball without any dramas, with the ball going 60 yards and having to walk for it. 

‘You’ve got to overcome challenges, you’ve got to change, and that’s what mentality is all about.’

Pickford has saved four of the 14 penalties he has faced at major tournaments, stepping up time and again for Gareth Southgate’s side.

He relied on a ‘cheat sheet’ on his water bottle on Saturday, and it worked wonders as he dived the right way to save Akanji’s penalty.

If England are taken to penalties again in their semi-final by the Netherlands, Gary Lineker has urged Pickford to forget about putting his ‘cheat sheet’ on his water bottle as the Dutch players could find it this time around.

The Everton shot-stopper proved he can make the necessary tweaks to his gameplan and still come out on top on the weekend, though, and is likely to be confident that he can deliver if called upon in a shootout on Wednesday night. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *