Paul Robinson says he is “surprised” by Gareth Southgate’s decision not to sign Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope for England.
The England manager chose his usual suspects, including Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale, as well as Crystal Palace’s Sam Johnstone.
But as former England goalkeeper Robinson pointed out, following the signing of Dean Henderson from Manchester United on deadline day, Johnstone has what he said is “real competition” at the Palace the football show on Sky Sports.
Yes Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United haven’t started the new Premier League season in the way they would have liked but you can’t just carry on with what you’ve been doing for the past few weeks but with what Nick Pope has been doing for over a year has done.
One would think that if Henderson dethrones Johnstone at the Palace, Pope is likely to return to the international line-up next month.
Anyway, ex-Spurs player Robinson didn’t expect Pope to be snubbed by Southgate.
“I was surprised Popey wasn’t there,” Robinson said. “I think he’s a top-notch goalkeeper. I think he pushed Jordan Pickford to the max along with Aaron Ramsdale.
“I think the core of England goalkeeping, the squad they have is the strongest they’ve had in many years, not just Jordan Pickford but the goalkeepers underneath that are challenging him.”
“They are very, very good goalkeepers themselves. They would have a problem if each of them played. Nick Pope has started the season well again for Newcastle and apart from his mistake against Brighton I really like him. I think he’s the all-round goalkeeper. His shot stopping ability and aerial skills are better than most.
“Then look at what Gareth said, he kind of looked at the squad, and he did it in other positions, he stuck with the players he picked in the previous squad he put together. I think Nick will be disappointed. Then when you see Sam Johnstone coming in, he has real competition at Crystal Palace.”
Nick Pope can focus on Newcastle
It’s understandable if Newcastle fans are upset that Pope isn’t selected but they have to see the positives, he’s giving himself a break.
As mentioned, the Magpies haven’t gotten off to a good start to the new season and after the international break, games will be tightening up.
Champions League football is returning to St James’ Park and fans are hoping it will breathe some life into them in the Premier League.
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