Newcastle United fans rally around Nick Pope following England ‘howler’ against Germany
Germany’s soft late equaliser at Wembley summed up a dismal international break for England.
After a goalless first-half, the game sprung into life in the second period with the sides sharing six goals as their respective Nations League campaigns came to an end.
Unfortunately for England and Pope, Germany’s equaliser was a rather soft goal with the keeper failing to deal with a long range effort before seeing Kai Havertz tuck home the rebound after the ball deflected off Pope’s chest.
Injury to Jordan Pickford meant that this match, and Friday night’s clash with Italy, offered Pope the opportunity to stake his claim to becoming No.1 ahead of the Qatar World Cup.
Whilst Pope enjoyed a solid international break, his late mistake at Wembley may prove to be the fine-margin that gives Pickford a slight edge for a starting spot against Iran on November 21.
Former Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton described the goal as a ‘howler’ from the Newcastle United stopper.
Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I am a big fan of Nick Pope. It's not his kicking, but for his actual handling. This is a howler.
“The ball just bounced in front of him and down to his left-hand side. It's a standard catch for a goalkeeper and do hundreds of those every week in training.”
Pope’s error summed-up a disappointing break for England as fans and pundits alike begin to question who should make Southgate’s squad for the World Cup.
Unsurprisingly, many Newcastle fans believe Pope should still be in consideration for a starting spot in Qatar and have taken to social media to show their support for the 31-year-old:
On Twitter, @QaizherOnline wrote: ‘You got it Nick Pope. It's a tough learning experience. Just continue to learn from these experiences and you can be fighting against the best soon enough #NUFC There's more to you, we can see it.’
@GdwGlyn also shared this sentiment: ‘Uncharacteristically poor from Nick Pope. Still, the real stuff starts again at Fulham. Keep your head up bonnie lad #NUFC’
@DeKuip02 also defended the stopper, believing the defence in-front of him could have done more: ‘Not sure why Nick Pope is being made the villain. He made a mistake but he needs support from his defenders too. He’s been outstanding behind a strong defence at #nufc.’