Sander Westerveld believes social media makes it harder for players to pass mistakes in big games, but has backed Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to regain his confidence.
Pickford escaped censorship for a bad challenge against Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk when the sides drew 2-2 at Goodison Park in October – the Dutchman has not played since and could be out for the rest of the season as he continues his rehabilitation after a serious game. knee injury sustained in the collision.
The England international has struggled for form this season and was recently dropped by Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti in favor of Robin Olsen.
He was reinstated for Wednesday night’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City and is set to take part in Saturday’s Merseyside derby – live on Sky Sports.
Westerveld – who has played for Liverpool and Everton during his career and was previously sent off playing for the Reds in a Merseyside derby – says it was easier to avoid excessive criticism when he was professional before the Internet no longer make big mistakes difficult. from.
“There is a lot more pressure on the players,” Westerveld said Sky Sports News. “Nowadays we might just say ‘we don’t read the papers’. Now with social media and the internet it’s everywhere and everyone sees it, everyone knows it [about] he.
“They will show it [the incident] a hundred times a day. I think this moment [the injury to Van Dijk] It was Liverpool’s downfall, I think that’s where it started to go wrong for Liverpool.
“It’s unfortunate for Pickford. It has a huge impact on Liverpool and also puts them under pressure with the mistakes he made.
“It was a big season for him and a lot of pressure but I hope he regains his confidence and can play freely.”
Westerveld is convinced that Pickford can become one of the best goalkeepers in world football, provided he can ‘find that switch in his head’ to regain his confidence and put him back into the form that saw him play. a key role as England advanced to the semi-final. -final stage of the 2018 World Cup.
“It’s the great pressure from goalkeepers and if you’re unlucky enough to make a mistake that costs you points then the pressure can build,” added Westerveld.
“In every game you want to earn points for the team and if that doesn’t work you can do things that you don’t normally do just to prove yourself.
“It’s a lot of pressure and it’s a matter of confidence. He just has to find that switch in his head but I think he’s been playing really well the last few matches.
“He just needs to find that change to gain confidence and play the way he can. He can be one of the best goalkeepers in the world because he’s so complete.
“If he can get some clean sheets and make some winning saves, then he’s back.”
Pickford’s Liverpool counterpart Alisson has also struggled for form lately in the Premier League with two misjudgments proving costly in their recent 4-1 home loss to Manchester City.
Another crucial mistake from the Brazilian helped Jamie Vardy register and score Leicester’s second goal in a 3-1 win at King Power Stadium on Saturday before Alisson put on a more confident performance beating RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Westerveld: Alisson still among the best goalkeepers in the world
Despite his recent aberrations, Westerveld believes Alisson remains one of the main goalkeepers in the world, playing in what he considers to be the most difficult position on the pitch.
Westerveld said: “It’s the most important position for the team because it’s the one with the most pressure. The striker can miss any chance and then score a little tap-in at the end and he is still the hero. “
“We can stop two penalties and make some great saves, but make a big mistake at the end and you lost the game.
“Alisson is still the best goalkeeper in Liverpool. He made incredible saves and wins a lot of points. Unfortunately, the timing of the mistakes [are unfortunate.]
“Sometimes if you make a big mistake and the team wins, nobody talks about it. But if you lose a big game because of a mistake then you get criticized.
“He’s still one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he will save us a lot in the future.”