For many of England’s players, their summer exploits in the World Cup of 2018 propelled them into a different stratosphere of attention and scrutiny.
Nobody performed better for Gareth Southgate’s side out in Russia than Kieran Trippier, but upon his return to Tottenham, he has suffered a genuine World Cup hangover, becoming a liability at times this season.
Harry Maguire has also struggled, and stopper Jordan Pickford has experienced a drop-off in form. In the Everton man’s case, that is neither a surprise or a particularly major problem.
The former Sunderland man is very young for his position, playing in a role where errors are amplified and players of his age often struggle for consistency.
Add in the attention he has had after the summer of his life and it’s easy to see how his level could drop off, especially in an Everton side that has not lived up to expectations at times this season.
High-profile, embarrassing errors away against Liverpool and Newcastle have been the greatest example, but overall, Pickford hasn’t inspired the same confidence behind the Goodison backline as he did for the Three Lions in the summer.
So perhaps getting back into that international setup, in the wonderful atmosphere Southgate has created at international level, will help Pickford get back to his best form as a fantastic shot-stopper and a top organiser of a defence.
Because being England’s number one and performing on the world stage brings its own scrutiny and demands that those levels do not oscillate wildly – that’s the next step for Pickford and the coming days can help him get back on top of his game.