By Sean Fisher

19th Nov, 2022 | 12:10pm

Everton star Jordan Pickford reached out to PR professional for personal help before World Cup

Jordan Pickford turned to a PR professional amid problems with criticism and his public image at Everton and England, according to the Daily Mail.

Pickford may come across as a very confident and easy-going player, but a source close to the 28-year-old has revealed that he “is more bothered about what people think than he may let on.”

The Everton shot-stopper is currently with the England squad preparing for the 2022 World Cup, where he’ll be under immense pressure as the nation’s No.1.

Ahead of the Qatar tournament, Pickford reportedly reached out to a PR professional as he believed his public image as a footballer was not as he thought it should be.

This comes via the Daily Mail, whose source close to Pickford said: “Some of the criticism did sting him a little bit. I think he wondered what he had done to deserve it. He thought quite a lot about that.

“Jordan is a nice lad, deep down. He is competitive and he cares deeply. But he’s basically a good bloke who, like most footballers, is more bothered about what people think than he may let on.”

Help is important

Modern footballers have to not only be able to cope with the physicality and intensity on the pitch, but also the pressure and the limelight off it.

It’s a big ask, especially as many players rise to stardom at such a young age. Being a goalkeeper only adds to the pressure as one mistake and the criticism piles on.

Pickford is no stranger to that, and he’s often caught flak at Everton for some bizarre mistakes. But on the flip side, fans at Goodison can appreciate just how much he has done for the club since his move in 2017 – including a remarkable Player of the Year campaign to help save the Toffees from relegation last year.

It can’t have been easy for the players last season with the looming threat of relegation, so it’s promising to hear that Pickford acknowledged the need for professional help and sought it out.

He’s a crucial figure for club and country and it’s important that he learns how to look past criticism as he enters the peak years of his career.