Everton and England keeper Jordan Pickford has claimed that Paul Pogba’s unconventional penalty run-up helped him save the Frenchman’s spot-kick during his side’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Pogba, taking penalties this season, opts to take a series of small, slow steps towards the ball – like a cat padding down on a surface for ages – and waits until the last moment for the keeper to commit before rolling the ball the other way.
Pickford was privy to Pogba’s strategy, however, and stood firm before diving to his right to make a save, only for the midfielder to tap home the rebound.
Speaking after the game, Pickford noted how he knew what to do with Pogba’s penalty technique.
“When he did his run-up I knew where he was going to go and I saved it, but unfortunately it went back out,” he said.
“I did my research and made the save. Even if it even goes three yards out to his left or right, I’ve got enough time to get up and make the save from the rebound but it wasn’t to be.”
Pogba noted after the game that he may have to revise his penalty technique because goalkeepers, as expected, have started to realise the trick to stopping them.
But as Mourinho noted, the important thing is that Pogba will never shy away from them. He always volunteers to serve as the main man. That kind of mentality is what Jose Mourinho loves, and what this team needs more of.