Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope was in the England squad for their recent UEFA Nations League double header against Iceland and Denmark but didn’t feature in either game, much to the chagrin of many Clarets supporters.
The 28-year-old had a watching brief as Gareth Southgate opted for Jordan Pickford to start between the sticks for the matches in Reykjavik and Copenhagen, with the Everton ‘keeper perhaps justifying the manager’s decision by keeping a clean sheet in both fixtures.
Pope certainly didn’t seem too perturbed by sitting out the two matches, though, judging by his most recent Instagram post. He took to the social media platform (via @npope29) to post an image of him wearing a broad smile and added the caption “Enjoyable 10 days in the bubble with the @england lads”, along with a smiling emoji.
While the Burnley ‘keeper certainly seemed to enjoy his time away on international duty, many Clarets fans weren’t so pleased, with numerous replies from the Turf Moor faithful in the comments decrying Southgate’s preference for Pickford over the 28-year-old. One supporter fumed “Clueless Southgate” while another said that it was a “shame” that he didn’t feature.
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Pope went into the Nations League fixtures off the back of an excellent Premier League season in which he kept 15 clean sheets, only one fewer than Golden Glove winner Ederson, whereas Pickford managed just nine shutouts and was culpable for four errors leading to goals amid criticism of his performances from numerous Toffees fans.
The Burnley stopper has so far earned two caps for his country, most recently against Kosovo last November. While he is still behind the Everton man in Southgate’s pecking order, another strong campaign at Premier League level could elevate him to the status of England’s number one in time for the European Championship next summer, thus granting the Clarets faithful their wish.
Burnley fans, are you annoyed that Pope has been overlooked in favour of Pickford at international level? Comment below with your views!
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