Summer signing Nick Pope discussed his role at Newcastle United. He’s fully aware that he’s not guaranteed to be starting for the Magpies from the get-go.
Newcastle’s competition for places stretches across the midfield and defence. However, with the addition of the England international, Martin Dubravka faces a battle for his spot in between the net.
Speaking to The Athletic, Pope addressed the situation.
“There are already top goalkeepers here and, no, there’s no specific assurances I’ll be No 1,” the 30-year-old stated.
“The manager wants competition in every position so we improve individually and as a team. We always push each other. The problem as a goalkeeper is there’s only one starting spot.
“But, yes, no assurances, though I feel this is the perfect place to push myself to the next level. If I can say after my career that I’ve been No 1 at Newcastle for a sustained period, when the club’s at a really ambitious stage, that’s something I’ll look back on with great pride.”
Pope’s ambition proves he’s the perfect fit for Newcastle
Pope’s aware of his role at Newcastle and his attitude is something we love to see. Howe has already brought in some great characters since he arrived on Tyneside and the England international is another to add to the list.
He accepts that Newcastle has competition for places and is willing to push himself. Howe may not start Pope on the opening day against Nottingham Forest, but you suspect with his pedigree, he can earn the spot as the Magpies’ number one very soon.
However, there were reports not long after he joined that he has a ‘genuine’ chance of competing with Durbravka. Furthermore, the Slovakian stopper has stated that his arrival has inspired him to improve.
So it’s clear Pope’s role at Newcastle is already having an impact. We know that Eddie Howe loves a selection dilemma and from Dubravka’s comments, it appears he has just that in the goalkeeper position.
Pope will have extra determination when it comes to getting game time for the Magpies. With the World Cup at the end of the year, the 30-year-old will want to make sure he makes the England squad.
Not just that, but if he has an outstanding run with the Toon this season, he could start for England. That’s something anyone connected with Newcastle can get behind.
On the opening day of the season, the Magpies take on newly promoted Nottingham Forest. It’s up in the air as to who starts in goal, Howe may not start Pope.
Whatever the decision, it will definitely be a big indicator as to who Newcastle’s number one for the new season will be. However, a lot can happen in a Premier League campaign, it could all change by the time it all wraps up.