International Report | Back To Back Clean Sheets For Pickford! Jamaica Call Up For Gray!

With Nathan Patterson, Seamus Coleman, and Amadou Onana out for their respective nations due to injury, there were only a small number of Everton players suiting up this international period.

Alex Iwobi (Nigeria) – With Nigeria only having one fixture and that being played against Sierra Leone in Monrovia, Liberia, we only had the chance to see Iwobi play one game. In that one game, he started in Centeral midfield next to Leicester midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi.

Earning himself a match rating of 6.6 [FotMob] with him playing all 90 minutes, there was much left to be desired in Iwobi’s performance. His Passing percentage for this match was 79%. He finished with 6 passes into the final third, but none would result in a goal (he also finished the premier league season with an average passing percentage of 79%.) Nigeria would go on to win in stoppage time 3-2. He was very conservative with his ball movement going 22/28 on passing, all the while he was only 33% on long balls. He also was not dispossessed once during the entire match. Nigeria have already secured their place at the AFCON taking place in January 2024

Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal) – Unfortunately, Gueye only received three minutes in Senegal’s AFCON Qualifier match versus Benin. In those three minutes, Gueye garnered six touches which resulted in a 100% passing percentage as he would pass the ball only four times. Senegal drew 1-1 and have already qualified for AFCON. Gueye then went on to remain on the bench in Senegal’s 4-2 friendly win against Brazil

Vitalii Mykolenko (Ukraine) – Ukraine would have two matches this week, that being against North Macedonia and Malta. Mykolenko would have a great game versus North Macedonia, defensively sound while delivering 9 passes into the final third, Mykolenko finished with 88% passing competition. He would tally an impressive six recoveries, a total of four clearances, one block and three interceptions while also winning 67% aerial battles during the full 90 minutes he would play. Ukraine would go on to win 3-2.

His performance against Malta would be slightly different. He would be a half-time substitution, replacing centre back Mykola Matviyenko. Mykolenko in his 45 minutes would contribute defensively once again. An impressive 100% on duels, ground and air, with a total of six won duels. The game would finish 1-0 to Ukraine.

Jordan Pickford (England) – Pickford would pick up back-to-back clean sheets in his two matches versus Malta and North Macedonia. Pickford did not have much to do during the Malta match resulting in zero saves from an outstanding ZERO shots from Malta. Pickford’s passing stats would stand out most in regards to statistics. Pickford would finish with a 94% passing rating, only misplacing one pass during the entire match. He completed 9/10 long balls, a much different picture than we are used to at the club level.

The story would stay relatively the same during the North Macedonia match. He would face zero shots once again but continue to be very clinical with his passing. Yet again, he would only misplace one pass during the entire game, and continue his long pass masterclass completing 5/6 long balls. He is obviously England’s true number one.

Demarai Gray (Jamaica) – Demarai looks to make his Jamaica debut against the USA in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on the 24th of June. Gray recently swapped his International eligibility from England to Jamaica earlier this week, will play alongside other premier league players such as West Ham’s Michail Antonio, Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey and many more.

Jamaica will also play Nicaragua and Trinidad and Tobago this month. Jamaica are expected to do well this Gold Cup.

Jarrad Branthwaite and James Garner (England U21) –  Everton’s Young Lions are part of the England U21 squad who will be participating in the upcoming U21 Euros.
Their June fixtures consist of Czech Republic, Israel and Germany. England are favored to top group C.



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