Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
BAD TIMING

Nick Pope was just about to make the England no.1 shirt his and then he did this

You have to feel sorry for the Burnley keeper who has been brilliant since stepping in for Tom Heaton

We are not sure what Gareth Southgate will make of this.

Despite Joe Hart meekly fumbling the ball to allow Peter Crouch to smash home on Monday, seemingly banishing any chance of him making the World Cup squad, Nick Pope could have just left the door slightly ajar.

The Burnley no.1 and a half has been brilliant since taking over from Tom Heaton but he might have just got a case of ‘England player before a World Cup’ jitters.

Pope at his happiest

Getty Images - Getty
3
Pope at his happiest

Based on recent form, it looked as though the England No.1 shirt at this summer’s World Cup was Pope’s to lose.

And then his mistake led to a Chelsea goal at the worse possible time for both his club and his national team prospects.

Victor Moses sped into the Burnley box and bounced a cross into the six yard box.

With no Chelsea players in sight Pope sprung off his line and failed to properly deal with ball, ultimately palming it against Kevin Long who could only knock it into his own net.


PLAY DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER Pick seven players to win £5k!


Not now. Not now. Not now.

PA:Press Association
3
Not now. Not now. Not now.

On first glance it looks like an unavoidable error but with replays unfortunately Pope should have come out and punched the ball away.

It’s a relatively small mistake but when the stakes are this high anything will be pounced on.

It looks like a four-way shoot out between Pope, Hart, Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland for three goalkeeping spots at the World Cup and sadly for Pope this little error could be the one Southgate remembers.


CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets have this brilliant offer when you sign up and bet a fiver


The lion (r) stalks its prey

PA:Press Association
3
The lion (r) stalks its prey

More pressingly for Burnley the holy land of European football is within touching distance and if they beat Chelsea tonight they will go above Arsenal into sixth – conceding a soft goal like this does not make things easy.

While for Chelsea, a win at Turf Moor will bring three crucial points in their bid to keep up the pressure on Spurs in 4th and it will be doubly impressive as Conte rested Eden Hazard and Willian.

As for Pope, all I can say is have faith.