Sean Dyche surprised as Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is left out of England squad
Clarets keeper Nick Pope has been left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.
The Three Lions take on Andorra and Hungary in their latest World Cup qualifiers, holding a four-point advantage at the top of Group I.
But Southgate has called up Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale, along with number one Jordan Pickford of Everton and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone.
Pope has come in for criticism in some parts in the early stages of this season, particularly Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Leicester City, when he raced off his line and was rounded by Jamie Vardy for the Foxes’ late equaliser.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche was surprised at the news: “I was surprised, but only in the sense that he is a top, top keeper for me, but Gareth will have his views on the whys and wherefores, and he has left other people out in the past who everyone has been surprised at, probably put people in who people have been surprised at, and that is his prerogative, but Popey in my mind is an absolutely top, top keeper.”
Asked whether he felt Pope’s form has dipped, Dyche added: “No, he continues to be sharp in training. I know he can be sharper in games just by playing in them, because he did miss a chunk of football, and like an outfield player, probably more so, that comes with getting your eye in.
“But he has been performing fine, I think he can still add to his performances, but he is top, top keeper without a doubt.
”He has been in good form this season, I have no gripes about who Gareth picks, that his job and he can only pick so many so all I can do is vouch for Popey, and I know from seeing him every day and working for Burnley Football Club that he is a top, top keeper.”