Everton versus Liverpool last weekend was a Premier League classic.
The two Merseyside clubs went punch-for-punch in an end-to-end 2-2 draw that continued the Toffees’ unbeaten start to the season.
And yet all of the attention since seems to have been focused on Virgil van Dijk.
The Liverpool defender was injured in the first half in an ugly clash with Jordan Pickford; the Toffees goalkeeper fouled the centre-back in the area but the Dutchman was adjudged to be offside.
Pickford was not disciplined for the challenge but the severity of the injury has seen aspersions cast. Van Dijk could miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear.
Much of the attention has focused on what the injury could mean for the Reds, naturally, but one has to wonder about the psychological impact on Pickford, too, who has injured a fellow pro.
One pundit who has drawn attention to that is Danny Murphy, actually an ex-Red, and he believes that the England goalkeeper faces a serious challenge to get his head right as the season progresses.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “It’s not easy but you have to be thick-skinned in this day and age.
“You have to say ‘you know what, it is what it is, I have to deal with it, there’s not a lot I can do.’
“You have to take it on the chin, it’s very, very difficult what else can you do in that situation?
“That’s the problem with it.
“It’s difficult and nobody wants to go through it but sometimes you don’t have a choice.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
It’s nice to see a pundit give some serious thought to such a difficult issue.
Pickford has been at the centre of a media firestorm this week but, ultimately, he made a mistake.
It is not his fault that the referee opted against showing him a red or a yellow card, and he cannot exactly take himself off down the tunnel and say he’s sent himself off.
All that can happen now is Liverpool let it go and move on, and Pickford tries to do the same.
The Toffees will be playing Southampton on Sunday and one has to hope that Pickford is given the chance to redeem himself and play himself back into the right place mentally.News Now - Sport News