Pickford is an international goalkeeper - he didn't act like one

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford gestures towards fans during his sides Premier League defeat to Newcastle United at St James' Park. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

 The walk was a little bit Conor McGregor, a slight exaggeration in the arm and shoulder movement. The embers of a raucous and at times chaotic game were still glowing as Jordan Pickford headed towards the tunnel at St James' Park.

He's just had a game to forget; dropped crosses, rugby tackles and questionable on two of the goals Newcastle scored in a rousing comeback for a 3-2 victory.

Historically, it was only the second time Everton had ever led a league game 2-0 at half-time and lost. In terms of Marco Silva, who by that point was berating the referee Lee Mason, a question mark over his future had got a bit bigger.

In November, following a home win against Cardiff, Everton went sixth in the Premier League table. On January 13, following a 2-0 victory against Bournemouth, Silva's new side were still in the top 10. They were 12 points clear of Newcastle, who at that stage were third from bottom.

By the time a red-faced Silva was chewing the ear of Mason and Pickford was preening himself, the gap between the two sides was just four points and Everton were outside of the top ten.

Pickford should have been more focused on the manner of defeat and the pressure it puts on his manager and his club side, who have now won only once inside the last six games.

Instead, there was a flick of the head towards those fans in what looked a joking offer to take things outside. It capped off an afternoon in which Pickford played the occasion, rather than the game. He is 25 now, a seasoned international footballer.

Pickford had been a young Sunderland player when he first became embroiled in a row on social media with Newcastle's supporters, following their relegation in 2016. 'We're staying up, they're going down. #whatachant #safc #gettheraveon," he tweeted.

It has rumbled on ever since and it was one of the major factors in Newcastle's win. By the game's finish, he had been beaten three times inside 19 minutes.

There had been a wild clearance before his 29th minute aberration. He came for a fairly innocuous cross from Matt Ritchie, and had a moment of horror in which the ball went from his grasp.

At that point it looked like Salomon Rondon was about to score, so Pickford, in panic, rugby-tackled the forward, hauling him to the ground. Lee Mason did not show either the expected red card or even a yellow. Pickford then saved the resulting penalty from Ritchie.

Within 71 seconds Everton added a second and when the goalkeeper denied Ayoze Perez in the 41st minute it looked like it was his day. At half-time he was all smiles.

In the second half an aggrieved Gallowgate End seemed to cast a shadow over him. In the 57th minute he was lobbed by Salomon Rondon. When the ball bounced narrowly wide he stuck his tongue out.

The first goal from Rondon went under his body. There was an acrobatic save from Paul Dummett but then in the 81st minute he could only parry a 30-yard drive from Miguel Almiron into the path of Perez, who equalised. By the time the third came, the lack of authority in the visitors' area was such that two defenders ran into each other. That uncertainty had spread from a player caught up in a regional spat.

Pickford is an international 'keeper, but he did not show the stature of one. (© Independent News Service)