Jordan Pickford is higher in England's penalty league chart than several forwards


A new competition, but the same old heartache for England.

The Three Lions' extra-time defeat to the Netherlands on Thursday means the wait for international silverware goes on.

The campaign at least ended on a positive note, albeit an extremely long-drawn-out one, with a penalty shootout win over Switzerland in the third-place play-off.

Once again, it was highlighted that Gareth Southgate has big issues to address going forward.

England's spine looked depleted and many fans are crying out for a ball-playing central midfielder like Harry Winks.

Their attempts at playing out from the back have also come under fire, not least from Martin Tyler, after John Stones and Ross Barkley's errors against Holland. 

The latest round of internationals haven't been entirely fruitless, however, as Southgate's men took another step towards banishing their penalty hoodoo. 

It may not have matched up to the drama of Colombia in 2018, but England earned bronze by beating Switzerland 6-5 in a shootout. 

Southgate can take plenty of credit for turning around his sides' fortunes in that department, with the Daily Mail reporting he's put together a league table ranking all the players in the squad in order. 

It's a far better system that under previous managers, when players would nominate themselves at the end of extra time. 

And England do work on penalties in training - each one is recorded and then analysed by the coaching staff.

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So, that finally explains why Jordan Pickford, admittedly fairly eccentric even in his usual position, stepped up to the 12-yard spot for the crucial fifth penalty. 

The goalkeeper did a fine job too, blasting home with a strike of which any forward would have been proud. 

There were a few other surprises in there too, with Harry Maguire, Barkley, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, and Eric Dier taking the others. 

Spare a thought for Callum Wilson, as the Bournemouth striker was on the pitch at the time and ordinarily would have been expected to attempt one. 

But there you have it - Pickford must be higher up in the league table. 

The Everton stopper also proved the hero between the sticks, saving from Josip Drmic to hand England victory. 

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