Jordan Pickford X-rayed For Smart Move Deployed During England’s Penalty Shootout Win Over Switzerland


Jordan Pickford has come under the spotlight after his heroic display for England at Euro 2024, as he was seen holding a penalty taker list meant to offer him hints during the shootout against Switzerland.

Pickford was pictured carrying a drinks bottle wrapped with a list of where players of Switzerland were likely to play their spot-kicks.

It came in handy for him and the Three Lions during the shootout, as he made a save to deny Manchester City Manuel Akanji, who took the Swiss first penalty in the lottery.

What Was Written On The Drinks Bottle Of England’s Jordan Pickford For Their Penalty Shootout Against Switzerland?

Jordan Pickford‘s secret sheet of notes taped to a drinks bottle according to the United Kingdom media outlet, Independent, was titled “Switzerland penalty taker list”, and it included each Swiss player’s name next to an instruction.

Underneath the bottle was each player’s name and number so he could easily identify the taker.

The inscription on the bottle read: “AKANJI: DIVE LEFT,” and Jordan Pickford got it spot on as he dived to his left to save the Swiss captain’s kick.

Next up, Fabian Schar and the instructions on the bottle were, “SCHAR: FAKE RIGHT – DIVE LEFT”.

However, Pickford ignored his own advice, faking left and diving to his right as Schar scored to his left. 

The hint with regards former Liverpool man Xhedan Shaquiri was for him to dive to the left, which Jordan Pickford did but he ultimately couldn’t keep out the fantastically taken penalty.

For Zeki Amdouni, it read: “AMDOUNI: HOLD – DIVE LEFT – GO! (LOW)”, Pickford stood his ground before diving left, however, the Burnley man rolled the ball down the middle.

Brave England Showed Steel From The Spot

Anyway, England tucked home all their penalties, with Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney, and Trent Alexander-Arnold showing bravery from the spot.

Moreover, the legality has been called into question by some football enthusiasts, who are keen to know the stance of FIFA and UEFA on it.

It would interest you to note that neither the World Governing Body of Football nor the European Governing Body of Football have anything against such.

Goalkeepers only use it to prepare and give themselves clues during the shootout, with the hope of helping their sides get the needed victory.

It is not cast in stone that opposing players will often play the spot kicks to where has been initially mapped out, as penalties are still won by luck, although it appears some keepers have perfected the art of saving them.

Other Strategies Deployed By Goalkeepers During The Lottery Of Penalties

Argentine shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez is one notable example and he barely devises the strategy of writing it down.

Martinez often uses antics to distract and make takers lose their composure, which at the end of the day often yields the right results, although he occasionally gets booked.

Is It Cheating?

The act of writing it down and taping it on a drinks bottle also can’t be deemed as cheating because the taker and the goalkeeper are left to make their decisions when the time comes.

Other Goalkeepers That Have Done So Apart From Jordan Pickford, Who Recently Did It In England’s Penalty Shootout Win Over Switzerland

Tim Krul

Dutch veteran goalie, Tim Krul, who is known for his saving penalties also helped Norwich City gain passage to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 28 years.

Krul kept in goal for the Canaries against Tottenham Hotspur with the score tied at 1-1 after extra time and penalties were needed to settle the affair.

Tim Krul had written where Spurs players were likely to direct their spot-kicks and he ultimately saved two penalties in the shootout, as Norwich City won 3-2 on penalties.

David De Gea

David De Gea also did the same thing against Brighton in Manchester United’s semi-final penalty shootout win during the 2022/23 season.

However, unlike Krul and Pickford, De Gea could save any penalty, as Alexis Mac Allister, Pascal Gross, Deniz Undav, Pervis Estupinan, Lewis Dunk, and Adam Webster converted theirs before Solly March slammed his spot-kick over the bar.

Mohamed Qotb Abou Gabal

Mohamed Qotb Abou Gabal Ali also known as Gabaski, has also made use of this strategy in the past.

Gabaski did it in the final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations against Senegal following his heroic displays from the spot in knockout matches before then.

He managed to save one penalty during the shootout but unfortunately for him, his teammates met a near-impenetrable Edouard Mendy, who saved two penalties to help Senegal secure their first-ever AFCON crown.

Where The Listed Goalkeepers Punished?

The aforementioned goalkeepers weren’t punished for using it and except for anything sinister, this would likely be the case for the foreseeable future.


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