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Easy choice for England – Newcastle v Arsenal – Nick Pope v Aaron Ramsdale

1 year ago

England kick-off their World Cup campaign in Qatar in eight weeks time.

On Monday 21 November their first group game is against Iran, followed by the United States (Friday 25 Nov) and finally Wales (Tuesday 29 Nov).

This current England get together with competitive games the only one planned before in the coming weeks Gareth Southgate names that England squad for the World Cup finals.

The national side have Nations League matches away against Italy (Friday 23 September) tonight and then Germany at home on Monday 26 September.

For a change, as Newcastle United fans we have serious interest in the choices Gareth Southgate will be making.

Kieran Trippier looks all but certain to be named in the final World Cup squad and could / should make the team tonight.

Nick Pope is another Newcastle United player with real England aspirations and not just in terms of making the squad for Qatar.

The Newcastle United goalkeeper has been a regular England squad member in recent years and has been named 30 times in matchday squads for England…but has he now got the chance to go one better?

Jordan Pickford has a thigh injury and is out for at least a month, obviously missing this current England squad and matches, whilst any significant injury at this point will also cast at least some doubt on availability for Qatar.

In Pickford’s absence, it looks to be between Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale for the starting position in these September matches against Italy and Germany, with all to play for in Pickford’s absence.

Ramsdale has only played three times for England and was actually given his chance in the most recent England game in June, the Arsenal keeper doing his England chances no good as he was part of a horror show that saw the national side lose 4-0 at home to Hungary.

In contrast, Nick Pope has an astonishing England record, it reads played eight and won eight, with only one goal conceded across all of those games.

As Newcastle fans we have seen just how seriously good this goalkeeper is.

When it comes to Nick Pope v Aaron Ramsdale in the Premier League this season, they are neck and neck, each conceding only seven goals. However…Arsenal are top of the table and have more than double the points (18 v 8) that Newcastle United have, down in tenth.

When you go beyond those basic stats it gets really interesting, analysis from NBC Sports shows that when it comes saves this season, Aaron Ramsdale has made 13 in his Premier League matches, whilst Nick Pope has made 30, more than double the Arsenal keeper’s total.

Gareth Southgate surely has to give Nick Pope his chance and it should only be a question of whether the Newcastle keeper starts one, or both, of these England games. I think with not fitness / injury questions surrounding Jordan Pickford, plus he isn’t the most reliable / consistent anyway, Southgate should be giving Pope both matches against Italy and Germany, in anticipation of him being potentially the new number one for when the Qatar World Cup finals come around.

Playing for a club like Burnley has almost certainly held Nick Pope back. Despite relegation last season, only nine PL clubs conceded less than Nick Pope and Burnley.


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