Former Chelsea man’s mixed view on Newcastle United ‘keeper Nick Pope amid England No.1 claim
The Magpies stopper has been in fine form this season - but should he now be England’s number one?
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The Magpies stopper has been in sensational form since he made a £10m switch to Tyneside from Burnley during the summer. Pope kept a clean sheet on his competitive debut as Eddie Howe’s side claimed a 2-0 home win against Nottingham Forest and that has set the tone for the campaign.
With an increasingly authoritative presence behind a well-marshalled United back-four, Pope has posted an impressive 12 Premier League clean sheets and conceded a first league goal in seven games when he was beaten by Lucas Paqueta in Saturday evening’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United.
Pope’s clean sheet record has been further extended with four shut-outs on the Magpies run to the final of the Carabao Cup and the England stopper will remain an integral figure in their search for silverware at Wembley later this month and in their bid to secure a place in European competition next season.
Former Australian international Schwarzer revealed his long-term admiration for the Magpies keeper that began before his move to St James Park - but stopped short of stating he should replace Everton star Jordan Pickford as England number one.
He told Sky Sports News: “I think it’s another example and another justification of how good he has been for Newcastle. I wouldn’t stop at just saying at Newcastle, I thought he was phenomenal at Burnley. Year-after-year, his performances have been right up there. That’s why he’s been involved with the England national side and there’s been question marks over whether he should be number one for England.
“This season, on performances alone, certainly since the World Cup, he’s been the best goalkeeper in the league - but do you make a change to the national team based on those games? I also think Jordan Pickford has been exceptional, certainly from last season up until the World Cup, he was exceptional. He played well for England at the World Cup, so there’s no real reason to make that change unless Jordan Pickford’s form falls away completely.
“But Nick Pope is doing everything he possibly can to get given another opportunity to play in that England shirt and he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.”