England goalkeeper dilemma: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope or Dean Henderson?

Should Jordan Pickford remain England’s regular No 1 or is it time for Gareth Southgate to turn to Nick Pope or Dean Henderson?

Pickford’s position for the national side came back under the spotlight following a blunder against Brighton, with the Everton man making four errors leading to goals in the Premier League in 2020 – more than any other goalkeeper.

Southgate has since confirmed that Burnley’s Pope will start against Wales in Thursday’s friendly but who should be the full-time man between the sticks? That question was discussed on the latest Pitch to Post Podcast as Sky Sports News’ England reporter Rob Dorsett and skysports.com’s Oli Yew joined Kate Burlaga for an international preview special – and we also asked for your verdict…

Download the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on Apple – or listen on Spotify above…

‘Pickford hasn’t let England down’

Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett, speaking before Southgate’s announcement:


“Jordan Pickford is clearly Gareth Southgate’s No. 1 – and he has never let England down. The high-profile mistakes he’s been making with Everton, we haven’t seen him do for England.

“It’s clear that Nick Pope is more in form than Pickford in terms of Premier League performances – though Pope made a howler [against Newcastle] – so Southgate has a decison to make as to whether he sticks with the guy who has had the No. 1 journey for years now. Southgate does like to stick with a tried and trusted goalkeeper.

“He may well play Pope for the game against Wales – I don’t see the point of having three goalkeepers and not giving another one of them a run-out; imagine if Pickford gets an injury and Southgate hasn’t had a proper look at someone else?

“If we do see Pope on Thursday, I don’t think we should read too much into that; I don’t think it’s Pickford being dropped becasue of his club form, it’s more an opportunity to have a closer look at someone else.”

‘Henderson needs to be playing week in, week out’

Sky Sports’ Oli Yew:

“When Henderson has played for Man Utd, he’s played well – there was a great stop against Luton in the League Cup and then another from Leandro Trossard against Brighton.

“He was brilliant for Sheffield United last season – we all know what he can do – but is that enough for Southgate to throw him in at the deep end?

“I’m not so sure while he’s sitting on Man Utd’s bench. Surely that has hurt his chances?

“Two Carabao Cup games this season is not enough to make a case to be England’s No. 1; Southgate probably wishes things had panned out a bit differently and that he was playing week in, week out.

“That might happen still at Man Utd – then it’s a different story. The Euros are still a way away but, at the moment, I don’t think Southgate can pick Henderson.”

‘Pickford’s had three bad mistakes in six months’

Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall on Sky Sports News:

“I think he’s had probably three bad minutes in six months – if [that].

“His mistakes aren’t killing us – I think that’s a good thing – and I think once he finds his form, we’ll be flying.

“There’ll be a time when we have that little bump in the road and maybe we’ll have to rely on him. Maybe people will have to change their opinions.

“If Mr Ancelotti wants to play you, you must be half-decent. If his job was on the line, there’d be a taxi outside Goodison tomorrow.”

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Robinson: Pickford still England’s No. 1

Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson on Sky Sports News:

“Pickford’s done nothing wrong for Gareth Southgate. He performed well every time he’s played, he’s saved penalties in major tournaments and his stock as an international goalkeeper isn’t in question.

“Yes, his form for Everton is slightly up and down at the moment, but all he needs to do is get his head right, have a run of four or fives games, keep three or four clean sheets and this all goes quiet for a while.

“It’s very difficult when you are England’s No. 1. You are put on a pedestal and there’s always somebody behind you, in other people’s opinion, that’s able to do your job better than you.

“He’s played well for England and yes, he has had inconsistency at Everton, but he’s not playing badly. He’s making silly errors in games that are costing goals, but they are not proving costly to Everton, who are still winning games.

“If he can eradicate these errors and get back to playing consistently well, it’s important. It’s the most important thing for a goalkeeper. He’s more than capable of doing that and taking him out of the England No. 1 jersey would be the wrong decision from Southgate.”

VOTE: Pickford, Pope or Henderson?

Ahead of @England's upcoming fixtures, we want to know who you think should be first-choice 'keeper for the Three Lions? 🦁🦁🦁

Vote below and let us know why in the replies! 👇

Twitter says…

Henderson is probably the best option but the problem is the lack of game time he will get this season at Utd.

Should be Henderson but it's difficult when he isn't starting games for United

Joe hart. Have we all forgotten this guy. One of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Hendo needs to be given a chance. Could argue he doesn’t play for club but he had a great season. Likewise with Pope, either one deserve a chance

Henderson doesn’t even start for his club. Has to be Pope

Pope all day long. Until Henderson can get regular football

Ideally it would be Henderson, but you have to go based on form in my opinion, and he's not even playing for his club right now.

You want an england keeper who cant get into his club side? Pickford plays well for england

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