Who should be England’s No.1 at the EURO 2020?
February 16th, 2020 | Football
Euro 2020 is approaching and England fans will be hoping the three lions can end the trophy drought dating back to the World Cup success on home soil in 1966. The amount of young English talent coming through is incredible with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, James Maddison and Dean Henderson giving Gareth Southgate something to think about. Gareth Southgate will find it difficult when selecting the final squad to find a balance of experience and young raw talent. In the past few weeks there has been a debate amongst football pundits and fans alike on who should be England’s first choice goalkeeper at Euro 2020. Being a goalkeeper brings with it a huge amount of pressure with mistakes being more noticeable and costly. Recently a dip in form in current first choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has sparked the debate of who should be between the sticks at Euro 2020.
Pickford is an experienced international and has shown his class previously in high-pressure environments on the international stage, saving penalties in two recent shootouts. Pickford saved Carlos Bacca’s penalty at the 2018 World Cup, allowing Eric Dier to step up and win the shootout 4-3 for England. Pickford again showed his class in another shootout, scoring the fifth penalty and saving Josip Drmic’s penalty so England won 6-5 in the Nations League third place play-off against Switzerland. Pickford has also provided man of the match displays during open play for England by pulling off three world-class saves as England beat Sweden 2-0 in the 2018 World Cup Quarter-Finals. His distribution is up there with the best keepers in the game. Despite showing he’s a reliable goalkeeper for England, is his recent dip in form for Everton enough to get him dropped?
So do England really have another goalkeeper who can be England’s No.1 at EURO 2020? Nick Pope has been reliable for Burnley throughout the 19/20 Premier League campaign and has managed nine clean-sheets, only behind Liverpool’s Alisson and joint second with Kasper Schmeichel and Dean Henderson, who we’ll discuss later on. Pope has shown he’s an excellent shot-stopper and an all-round decent keeper and has already appeared twice for England. The other choice, with Tom Heaton injured, is Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson. The goalkeeper has had a fantastic season as Sheffield United continue to push for European football on their first season back in the top flight. Like Pope, Henderson has nine clean-sheets in the Premier League this season, an impressive amount for his debut season in the division and being only 22 years old. I believe Henderson has been the most consistent of the three keepers and has only made one high-profile error against Liverpool. I believe he’s the perfect goalkeeper with impressive distribution, good reflexes and strong hands making him, in my opinion, the best shot-stopper in the premier league.
Despite all of this I believe Southgate will continue with Pickford as England’s No.1. Pickford has proven he can perform at international level and has vastly more experience when compared to Pope and Henderson having 24 caps to his name compared to Pope’s two and with Henderson, at the time of writing, uncapped. As a fellow Cumbrian I’d love to see Henderson play at Euro 2020, but I think it’s not fair to put that pressure on an uncapped young goalkeeper. Pope is the real contender for the No.1 spot but I think Pickford’s distribution and reflexes is of a higher standard.
Please note: The football articles that feature on this site are being written by Jack Dixon as part of his work experience.