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Pickford learned his lesson and hasn't lost any focus, maintains Silva

 

Testing time: Jordan Pickford has had a tough few months
Testing time: Jordan Pickford has had a tough few months

By Carl Markham

Everton manager Marco Silva is confident England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has learned his lesson after allegedly being caught up in a disturbance in a bar in Sunderland.

The past five months have not been kind to the 25-year-old, who began the season on a high after helping the national team to a World Cup semi-final.

His mistake led to a 96th-minute defeat in the Merseyside derby in December, after which the team's results took a nosedive with just three wins in 14 Premier League matches.

He was castigated for an error in March's defeat at Newcastle, during which he was seen reacting to taunts from home fans, and a video circulated online this week allegedly shows the Everton player at the centre of a street brawl. Northumbria Police and the Goodison Park club are investigating the incident.

"The first chat we had at the beginning of the week, I was clear with him. In that moment, the feedback he gave me was big to learn what had happened," said Silva.

"If you ask me as a manager, and for us as a club, we are not happy with what has happened.

"Football players have duties but obligations as well. It is a matter for us to remind him and everything we must do we have already done.

"I think it is clear in his mind about his obligations as a football player, the position he has in our club and his national team.

"When you become a football player you have to be aware of these situations and he knows.

"It is already done. It is my expectation it won't happen again with Jordan for sure."

Pickford will start in goal for tomorrow's visit of Arsenal and Silva said the disruption had not affected preparations.

"No problem. Something happened, no one is happy with the situation. It happened on his day off, it was not a good thing," he added. "It is something not to do as a football player but we spoke about the matter and it is finished in this moment."

Silva laughed off reports in Brazil that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had met with Richarlison's agent Renato Velasco recently.

"I have to smile, there is nothing more I can do. For us this speculation is not important to talk about," said the Toffees boss.

"Richarlison is our player, all of us are happy with him and he is happy here and he has many things to keep proving at our club. I am 100 per cent sure he will do that in the next few seasons. He's a really important player for us.

"My job is to keep working to keep developing him. I don't have doubts he can keep improving his performance."

Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey has been passed fit for Arsenal as Unai Emery's side look to strengthen their grip on a top-four place.

The 28-year-old midfielder was substituted with a groin injury in Monday's 2-0 victory over Newcastle having scored their opening goal, and his recent fine form would make his absence keenly felt.

With Granit Xhaka facing a late fitness test, Ramsey's availability provides a further boost for Emery's improving team, in which the attacking talents of Mesut Ozil are also an increasing strength.

Emery said: "Aaron trained normally and all the players are working.

"We are thinking game by game and we know seven matches, and five away, for us is a big challenge. We have confidence now but we know it is very difficult. It's a long way for the last matches."

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