One of the biggest questions for the England team selection is; who will our number one keeper be in the upcoming FIFA World Cup?
“Clearly the number one jersey is up for grabs” said Southgate before naming his squad for the international friendlies – but who do you do you think should make it as England’s number one?
Joe Hart for goalkeeper?
The rejected Man City player, now at West ham, hasn’t had the season with the hammers. His performances have been below average and bad team performances causing a rift between the club and fans.
Statistically Joe Hart has the lowest amount of clean sheets out of the potential goalkeepers with a meagre three. For me, he hasn’t done enough to stake a claim for that number 1 shirt. Not being selected for the recent friendlies against Netherlands & Italy will have dampened his chances of making the world cup squad even as back up.
Next we have Jack Butland
Stoke haven’t had the best run lately, this has resulted in the sacking of manager Mark Hughes. Butland’s individual performances have not been convincing overall – Stoke are in the relegation zone and look likely to go down. His chances may become slim with younger keepers coming into the picture and statistically, he isn’t the best English keeper in the PL (5 clean sheets this season).
For England, he was given the chance to showcase his ability in a friendly against Italy. In this game he did well but conceded a late goal via a penalty that was given using VAR. He guessed the right way but Insigne slipped it passed him in the far right bottom corner. With Pickford keeping a clean sheet it’s looking more likely he will be set for the number one shirt.
Jordan Pickford of Everton
The youngest of the selected keepers, Pickford has the second best clean sheet stats in the Premier league. His performances have improved since Sam Allardyce took over; this was a big reason to why he has been favourite to take the number one shirt. Southgate gave Pickford the number 1 jersey against Netherlands and he justified his choice by a great performance and another clean sheet.
With a strong side chosen for that game, it looks most likely Pickford will be the first choice keeper.
Nick Pope. Is this a joke?
The English goalkeeper with the most clean-sheets this season is Nick Pope (10). He is forcing Gareth Southgate’s hand for a ticket on that plane to Russia. His performances have matched Burnley’s, with Burnley sitting in 7th and himself sitting joint 5th in the overall Golden glove award with 10 clean sheets so far this season. For someone outside of the top 5 it does show how great Nick Pope has been this season and statistically deserves to be one of the first names on the world cup squad sheet.
I personally believe judging on experience and the new look England squad, Jordan Pickford should be given the number one jersey with Nick Pope being the number two, ready to take his chance when he’s needed.
Who would you pick to be your number 1 keeper? Let us know in the comments.
And why not visit one of our Stonegate Pubs to see the last few games of the PL and see who the best fit is for that sacred world cup squad 😉