Sky Sports pundits highlight contrasting fortunes of Burnley international duo
Sky Sports pundits Siobhan Chamberlain and Jamie Ward have been discussing the contrasting fortunes of Burnley’s international goalkeeping duo Nick Pope and Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Both players started for their respective nations on Thursday evening, with Pope enjoying a quiet night as England strolled to a 5-0 win over minnows San Marino, while Peacock-Farrell conceded two soft goals as his Northern Ireland suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Italy.
Reflecting on Pope’s inclusion over the injured Jordan Pickford, Chamberlain – who won 50 caps for England herself – suggested that the 28-year-old's consistency could give him an edge over the Everton man going into this summer’s European Championships.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Football Show, she said: “It’s difficult when you’ve got a goalkeeper that’s been number one for so long or commanded that position, and then you’ve got a number of goalkeepers coming in that haven’t really got that experience.
"Dean Henderson’s got one appearance, Pope’s got five – it’s not helpful going into a major tournament if you’ve got an inexperienced goalkeeper.
"However, Nick Pope has got so much experience playing in the Premier League. Yes, it’s different, but I really like Nick Pope. I think he keeps things basic. He makes saves, he distributes, he does what you need to do for a goalkeeper. He doesn’t look to do something elaborate, he doesn’t make mistakes. He’s very consistent.
"If you want someone to be a good backup goalkeeper, and someone to rely on when you need them, Nick Pope’s fantastic for that.
"At international level, you want someone that’s just going to be there to keep the ball out of the back of the net.”
By comparison, Peacock-Farrell was beaten twice at his near post in Parma, and 35-cap Northern Ireland international Ward was quick to apportion him with some of the blame for his side’s defeat.
He said: “It wasn't a great first half. We conceded two easy goals where Bailey Peacock-Farrell should do a little bit better with both of them in my opinion.
"It’s always a little bit easier to play when you're 2-0 down, but at least they tried to stay in the game, and they created a couple of chances.”