FA wrong not to punish Jordan Pickford for ‘out of control, Sunday league tackle’ - Paul Parker
Were the FA wrong not to take retrospective action against Jordan Pickford for his high tackle on Virgil van Dijk? Should referee Michael Oliver have taken a greater responsibility during the Merseyside derby? And is the incident only being talked about because it affected Liverpool and Van Dijk? Paul Parker gives his view.
Everton's English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (C) tackles Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (L) during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on October 17, 2020
I would think now the FA will be looking at the situation and they're going to have to say we'll bring something in for next season. Something has to be done because of what has happened here and the debate it has brought up.
I think it's wrong they didn't make a case for that [a retrospective ban] now, because his two feet left the ground. Pickford has hooked his legs around Van Dijk and his feet have gone past his leg. The momentum of his body has taken him through and he's hit a standing leg. I don't want to see it again because now you know exactly what he's done and it makes you feel a little sicker inside.
That incident with Pickford sums up him in the last two years. His form is out of control, he's erratic, he has no composure, and he jumped out like a Sunday morning goalkeeper. You would expect them doing that only because a Sunday morning goalkeeper is not a goalkeeper but actually a centre-forward who has gone back there because the original goalkeeper was drunk from the night before.
They say now goalkeepers use their feet to block, pass, tackle, but that wasn't a tackle, that was 'I'm just jumping at him' - so he was totally out of control. That wasn't a composed goalkeeper's action. It just sums everything up about Pickford in this moment in time.
They should have just given him a three-game ban, violent conduct. At least that. Some Liverpool fans want him put in the Tower of London, but still they should have done something. If they'd have given him three games, or at least brought him in and talked to him, then no one is really going to complain. Everton would not have complained, and that might have done them a favour by the way.
That's totally wrong, so if anything like that happens again the FA can't do anything, because people will go back and use this precedent.
Jordan Pickford of Everton takes out Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool
Image credit: Getty Images
They've got to say something about it. Although they've made their mind up about this situation, if they can move the goalposts now then do it before anything like this happens again. Common sense must apply, although for Van Dijk and Liverpool it's kind of like having a burglar alarm after you've been robbed.
Referee must protect the players
The referee Michael Oliver, he's seen that, he could have taken it upon himself to make his own decision and worry about it after. He would have made a massive point that he took responsibility for the players' health.
[Not sending Pickford off] was going against everything a referee should be about. A referee should be out there to make sure a situation like that doesn't happen; when the referee sees that he should make sure that person is liable for that and they are punished.
Players of both teams surround Match Referee, Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020
Image credit: Getty Images
The referee totally turned a blind eye because it wasn't written in black and white and with VAR, referees feel they haven't got a responsibility - referees are passing the buck.
A talking point because it's Van Dijk?
I still think if a goalkeeper goes out on any player and challenges like that people would kick off. It's highlighted by a big-name player, who plays for a big club, and because of the goalkeeper too.
The bigger problem is when it's not live on TV and in the lower divisions. This has been seen by millions, anyone who plays football cannot and will not condone what Pickford has done.
Everybody inside is feeling a little bit sick about a challenge like that, done by somebody totally out of control.