Jordan Pickford likes to “get the rave on” but a year on from when his head-banging approach clashed with Jurgen Klopp’s ‘heavy metal football’ in the heat of the Merseyside Derby, Everton will be hoping for a nice, quiet Sunday afternoon from their goalkeeper against West Ham United.

October 17, 2020, was yet another flashpoint against Liverpool for Pickford who had already suffered last-gasp heartbreak at Anfield in December 2018 when his failure to judge the flight of a mishit Virgil van Dijk shot gifted Divock Origi a winner.

Blues will place trust that their England number one is now older and wiser.

Regardless of personal allegiances, let’s be honest about what happened that day some 12 months ago.

An anomaly over the laws of the game – or at least some confusion over how to interpret them – denied Liverpool a penalty.

But while Pickford’s challenge on Van Dijk was wild, the shameful reaction by many fans and even pundits who really should have known better and allowed their judgement to be clouded by both their affiliations and the Dutchman’s subsequent injury, was much wilder.

A large proportion of the accusers in the Pickford witch hunt also appeared to possess a shocking bout of selective amnesia given that Van Dijk set the tone for the afternoon in what is already a powder keg fixture in no need of additional needle to start with by clattering into James Rodriguez in the first minute before swiftly going on to slide into the back of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Despite apologising for his tackle, it was later reported that the Everton keeper hired bodyguards to help provide protection for the family home he shares with wife Megan and young son after he was the subject of sickening death threats.

In truth, Richarlison’s sending off challenge on Thiago, starting his first game for the Reds, looked worse.

The dramatic game finished 2-2 with what would have been Jordan Henderson’s stoppage time winner ruled out following a VAR check showed Sadio Mane was offside.

So much for sterile behind closed doors football.

Just four months’ earlier, the Merseyside rivals had played out a half-baked goalless stalemate at the same ground in the first Operation Restart fixture after the coronavirus-induced hiatus that prolonged the finish to the 2019/20 season.

Pickford’s rash display in October 2020 continued a worrying theme at the time that had prompted then Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti to draft in Sweden international Robin Olsen on loan to provide increased competition in the position.

Whether it was a direct result of this challenge or not, the man from Washington started to iron out such incidences in his game after the turn of the year though and despite what some misguided observers tried to claim during the Euros when trotting out their narrative that Pickford somehow only plays well for his country, he went into the tournament in fine form.

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He was as heroic as anyone in the Three Lions side in taking England to the brink of what would have been only their second major international trophy and other than a blooper in a friendly at Manchester United – it’s always best to get such things out of your system in pre-season – that solid, steady presence you want from your goalkeeper has provided assurance for Rafa Benitez in the early weeks of his reign.

A renewal of the old Benitez-Moyes rivalry today will undoubtedly hog the headlines but it’s worth remembering the reunion between Pickford and the Scot who was the manager to first select him on a regular basis in the Premier League.

Back then in 2016/17 – despite half a dozen loan spells in the lower divisions – Pickford was still something of a relative baby in goalkeeping terms.

However, at 27 now – older than Neville Southall when he became FWA Footballer of the Year in 1984/85 – he can no longer be considered a rookie.

Having played in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Hungary at Wembley, Pickford broke the record for the most England caps won by a player while at Everton (41), overtaking Phil Jagielka, while he has the potential to finish the current campaign one game shy of 200 appearances in the Premier League.

Benitez’s Blues can enjoy Pickford at the peak of his powers but that of course means more rave reviews and ensuring the eccentricities that left both his own fans and opponents alike raving mad, are confined to the past.