Why the pressure on England? You’re just not that good! - says Clarets keeper

Anders Lindegaard
Anders Lindegaard
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Anders Lindegaard believes the pressure put on England and their goalkeepers hasn’t helped the Three Lions at previous tournaments.

He expects Everton’s Jordan Pickford to start against Tunisia on Monday evening, ahead of Clarets colleague Nick Pope and Jack Butland of Stoke City.

None of Gareth Southgate’s three options have started a game for England at a major tournament, and the former Denmark international feels the expectation has weighed heavily on their predecessors, with errors from the likes of Joe Hart, Rob Green and David Seaman costing them dearly.

Lindegaard insists England’s poor international record down the years isn’t a false position, and he issued a warning ahead of the Three Lions’ campaign: “I've seen so many times of pressure the English goalkeeper is under. It's mental isn't it?

“You've seen I don't know how many goalkeepers who have completely ruined their career by making one mistake at a World Cup because you guys and your readers are putting this mental pressure on the whole team - because you're not that good.

“At the end of the day you're just not that good, you aren't.

“When you compare yourselves to the best teams in the world you're not that good.

“You probably were years and years ago, but you aren't any more.

“People are complaining that the FA has successfully taken down the expectations on the team this World Cup.

“That's the only thing that gives you guys a chance.

“I've been writing for Danish newspapers at the previous World Cups and Europeans, like a column, and it's almost been a copy and paste every year.

“Here we go again. Because the expectations are built up ridiculously and you can't perform magic under those expectations.”

Pickford looks like getting the nod due to his ability to build up play from the back with his feet more comfortably than his rivals, as well as his range of longer passing, and, in an era where keepers are under more scrutiny for their ability with their feet, as much as their hands, Lindegaard admitted: “It's getting more and more important. (Jordan) Pickford is the best one with an English passport to do it.

“It has changed. Correct me if I'm wrong but the English national team has not always played trying to pass it out from the back have they?

“They have played more traditional English football haven't they, and with Southgate they want to pass it a bit more, with the central defenders popping up the pitch to give them an extra passing opportunity.

“It's changed quite quickly for the English national team and it suits Pickford best of the goalkeepers. The question is, has Pickford got the experience to go and play a World Cup for England?”

Lindegaard feels England are playing catch up in that respect, with keepers unable to handle back passes since 1992, and having to adapt: “It's not a new thing, it's been changing for 10/15 years. Since (the backpass rule change in) 1992. Denmark won the Euros in 1992, was it straight after that?

“I remember the World Cup in 1994 in America, but it's been going in that direction since then and if you look at the best goalies at it today there's one in particular, who's a joke at it if you ask me and that's Ederson at Manchester City.

“The City team last season compared to the City team this season. They are fantastic players, but he has added a different dimension to the team.

“When you play against City you can't push up high because you know he's going to play it out to the full-backs, or he can just launch it over you. That's a whiole different dimension to City's way of playing.

“He's been the most important part of that transformation City has undergone from last season to this season because he's brilliant at it. I've never seen anything like it and just for that he could probably be goalkeeper of the year in the Premier League.”