Nick Pope

Nick Pope
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Nick Pope

Current Club: Burnley.

Previous Clubs: Charlton Athletic, Bury Town.

Loan Clubs: Bury, York City, Aldershot Town, Cambridge United, Welling United, Harrow Borough.

International: N/A.

Trophies Won: N/A.

Before this season kicked off, Pope was just one of many back up keepers around the leagues that sit on benches hoping and praying for their opportunity but never expecting it to come. His opportunity came after Burnley's first choice keeper, Tom Heaton, suffered a dislocated shoulder, and he has grabbed it with both hands. His performances have been excellent and he has played his part in the Claret's European places challenge.

His performances have also seen him get a call up for the recent England friendlies, but he failed to impress enough there to get a game. There his weaknesses were seen as more of a problem than his strengths were a help for the team. Understandably so as he is not suited to the style of play Gareth Southgate aims to play, no matter how well suited he is to Burnley. Though he could be a useful option to bring off the bench if the keeper were to be sent off and the team was down to ten men and it was backs to the wall stuff.

Pope is not going to dominate his area, he does not deal well with having to sweep up behind a defence, he wants to stay on his line and deal with the shots instead of being taken out of his comfort zone to deal with a ball. Pope is a very old fashioned pure shotstopper. His shotstopping is amongst the best in the Premier League, but the rest of his game will hold him back from making a step up. In particular his distribution, which is terrible.

His ability to deal with crosses into the box is also extremely questionable, as he does not do much to deal with them, though it is difficult to tell whether that is down to instructions from his manager or not. However, I personally would like to see him be more forthright and take command of his box more. Pope does seem to be a keeper who just wants to be on his line and only deal with shots and nothing else. An excellent back up but not a top class first choice keeper for a club looking to win trophies.