Nick Pope started for England against Germany on Monday night, but the Newcastle goalkeeper made a big mistake in the 3-3 draw at Wembley.
The 30-year-old started for the second game in a row, having also been given the nod on Friday against Italy. Pope was handed the opportunity ahead of Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson, with usual number one Jordan Pickford out due to injury.
This international break was seen as a chance for Pope to prove he should be playing ahead of the Everton stopper. However, it has ended in disappointment.
England completed a dramatic turnaround late in the second half, coming from 2-0 down to be 3-2 up. It looked like an unlikely victory was on the cards.
However, an error from Pope allowed Germany to equalise and make it 3-3. Newcastle’s £10million man spilled Serge Gnabry’s strike from distance, allowing Kai Havertz to tap it in from close range.
Eddie Howe’s number one is normally so reliable in situations like that. However, that wasn’t the case in an England shirt.
Reece James on Nick Pope’s mistake
After the game, Chelsea defender Reece James spoke to the media. The game saw Manchester United’s Harry Maguire also make some big mistakes, but the right-back has leapt to the defence of his international teammates.
“When you’re playing and you make a mistake I feel like you’re experienced enough to know you’ve made a mistake and you don’t need to be told,” James said.
“Harry [Maguire] hasn’t been playing too much this season, you know, he’s still finding his rhythm and we know the quality he and Popey has. It’s just a little slip up, and I’m sure they’ll bounce back and be stronger for it.”
Pope must bounce back in a Newcastle shirt
The important thing is that Pope doesn’t dwell on the mistake. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt his confidence and disrupt his form in a Newcastle shirt.
He has been exceptional since moving to St James’ Park, keeping three clean sheets in his opening seven games.
But with international football over now until the start of the World Cup, Pope will hope that his club form earns him a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
As James says, it was just a ‘little slip up’, and Pope will look to bounce back on Saturday when Newcastle head to Fulham.