Nick Pope

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MrTopTier
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Nick Pope

Post by MrTopTier » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:36 pm

Attached is another positive article by Andy Jones of the Athletic.
Charts didn’t copy across, but you get the gist hopefully.

As Sean Dyche bellows instructions from the touchline, there is another Burnley voice out on the pitch that can be just as loud and demanding.

Even when a stadium is at full capacity, you can hear goalkeeper Nick Pope’s booming tones. With stadia staying empty, that voice is magnified even further.

If the team is pulled out of shape, Pope will let them know. This isn’t just a goalkeeper who talks to his back four. He calls out to every single one of his team-mates, no matter where they are on the pitch.

He lives and breathes every single kick, header and tackle.

Burnley’s defensive work starts from their front two and Pope, sitting at the other end of their line-up, makes sure to remind them. He is demanding and if he wants more energy from one of his outfield players, they will hear his voice and there will be a response.

As goalkeeper, Pope gets the full view of the game and what is happening in front of him. He can see the structure that is the hallmark of Burnley’s defensive plan. If it is out of shape, he tries to correct it.

Equally, he encourages and praises when the shape is right, particularly if it leads to one of his team-mates forcing the opposition to turn the ball over.

“REF!” will be heard time and again. If he isn’t happy with a decision he will let them know. “LINO!” is bellowed whenever he believes an opponent is offside. He was the loudest of all the Burnley players to voice their displeasure when Luke Shaw fouled Johann Berg Gudmundsson, even if Kevin Friend needed the help of VAR to see it. Pope, on the other hand, was 70 yards away.

He has matured into a proper leader. He has earned the trust and respect of his team-mates through the consistency of his performances.

When we compare Pope to other goalkeepers this season, his importance and the difference he makes is clear. Before the Manchester United match, Pope ranked highest of all goalkeepers in this season’s Premier League for “goals prevented”, with 6.35. This is worked out by taking the expected goals (xG) of all non-penalty shots on target faced and subtracting the goals actually scored against them. In essence, Pope is saving shots that other goalkeepers would not.

Only nine other Premier League goalkeepers have a positive goals prevented total but Pope’s total is head and shoulders above any other goalkeeper this season. It is interesting that last season, Pope ranked much lower down on the list, actually finishing with a negative goal prevention total.





It has been clear for a long time what Pope is really good at. The control he has of his penalty box and his ability to claim crosses has been a staple of his game since he was coming through at non-League Bury Town. It is his shot-stopping that has taken another step forward this season, though. The last-minute saves against Crystal Palace and Everton stand out.

Of the regular starting Premier League goalkeepers this season, Pope also has the best save percentage (78.1 per cent, a significant increase from 70.2 per cent last season). He has made 57 saves this season in the 16 games he has played, which ranks him fifth in the league. And as shown by his goals prevented stats, he is not just saving more shots, but also saving the harder shots, too.

He was questioned after the Newcastle United and Chelsea defeats, but those difficult moments now seem a distant memory.

Last night was another test for Pope against a strong, attacking Manchester United side. There was an ongoing duel between him and Bruno Fernandes, who finished the game with three shots on target. On all three occasions, Pope came out on top. His positioning was perfect to make the saves comfortable.

There were two top saves from Anthony Martial as well. The first in the dying moments of the first half and the same again in the second half. Martial’s first was a curling, dipping effort that had the Burnley keeper at full stretch. The second a one-on-one in which he spread himself well to save with his leg.

Even Manchester United’s goal had a stroke of fortune. They had been knocking on the door for some time but Pope, along with his trusty lieutenants Ben Mee and James Tarkowski in front of him, was standing strong. A significant deflection off the leg of Matt Lowton turned a routine save into a shot that was diverted through Pope’s legs with him already diving and unable to adjust. It was unfortunate.

However, if you take a step back, Burnley’s first-choice rearguard have been close to impeccable. Pogba’s goal was just the fourth Burnley have conceded in the nine Premier League matches Pope, Mee and Tarkowski have played together. It is an impeccable record. Since Mee returned to the side against Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley have picked up 15 points in those nine games — 93.8 per cent of their season’s total.

Tarkowski and Mee are both in excellent form, which they showed once again against United, but the excellence of Pope has been instrumental to Burnley. Dyche was once again complimentary of his goalkeeper after the game.

As always, the conversation reverts to the England No 1 jersey. Quite frankly, there’s not much more he can do to prove to England manager Gareth Southgate that he should be picked. Yes, the kicking is the big question mark, but keeping the ball out of the net is the most important thing. So far this season, Pope is showing he is the best at it in the Premier League.

This may be Pope’s best form of his career. It certainly has to be up there in terms of consistency. He has started 2021 as he finished 2020 and long may that continue.
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Bordeauxclaret
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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Bordeauxclaret » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:59 pm

I know we are biased but he seems to be the best English goalkeeper by some distance at the moment.
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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Woodleyclaret » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:00 pm

Now our best ever keeper imo in over 55yrs watching Burnley

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by JTClaret » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:07 pm

I'd say he learnt from Heaton (or Mercer I suppose)... and it was evident that this is what Joe Hart was missing

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Paul Waine » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:35 pm

JTClaret wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:07 pm
I'd say he learnt from Heaton (or Mercer I suppose)... and it was evident that this is what Joe Hart was missing
The goalie's shouting and instructions to his team mates is what we get from Nick Pope and got from Tom Heaton. From the games I saw when Joe Hart was in goals this was the thing we were missing.

We need BPF and Will Norris also to develop strong vocal command for the team.

UTC

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Taffy on the wing » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:19 pm

Joe Hart also seems unable to see the ball!

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Siddo » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:20 pm

Woodleyclaret wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:00 pm
Now our best ever keeper imo in over 55yrs watching Burnley
I can't agree with that. I don't believe he is better than Blacklaw, Stevenson, Thomson and even Tony Waiters. I also don't believe that he is better than Heaton.
I do agree that he is having an excellent season but still think his kicking will convince Southgate to select Pickford for England, but he is a better keeper than Pickford.
In some ways Nick is similar to Waiters, who also struggled with his kicking and that was a problem even then, never mind in today's game of sweeper keeper and playing from the back, which I am not a fan of.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Targetman » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:25 pm

Siddo wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:20 pm
I can't agree with that. I don't believe he is better than Blacklaw, Stevenson, Thomson and even Tony Waiters. I also don't believe that he is better than Heaton.
I do agree that he is having an excellent season but still think his kicking will convince Southgate to select Pickford for England, but he is a better keeper than Pickford.
In some ways Nick is similar to Waiters, who also struggled with his kicking and that was a problem even then, never mind in today's game of sweeper keeper and playing from the back, which I am not a fan of.
I think you can also add Colin McDonald to that list.
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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Siddo » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:28 pm

Targetman wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:25 pm
I think you can also add Colin McDonald to that list.
Good shout, but he had retired within his 55 year window.
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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Burnley1989 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:03 pm

A thread on Nick Pope and Joe Hart still get a mention for his ability :lol:

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Suratclaret » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:07 am

Excellent article. Thanks for posting.
I would put only McDonald and Blacklaw ahead of him but I'm pretty confident that if he continues to progress, he will eventually become on a par with those two great keepers.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Quickenthetempo » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:36 am

I wonder if Burnley fans were obsessed with Blacklaws or McDonald's kicking back in the day?

Mind you it wouldn't be a problem when they could pick back passes up would it?

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Rileybobs » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:42 am

Quickenthetempo wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:36 am
I wonder if Burnley fans were obsessed with Blacklaws or McDonald's kicking back in the day?

Mind you it wouldn't be a problem when they could pick back passes up would it?
It’s not really an obsession is it. Kicking is quite a fundamental part of football.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Siddo » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:44 am

Quickenthetempo wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:36 am
I wonder if Burnley fans were obsessed with Blacklaws or McDonald's kicking back in the day?

Mind you it wouldn't be a problem when they could pick back passes up would it?
They took goal kicks though and Waiters had a problem with striking a dead ball.
Most of the time Nick's kicking isn't an issue in our team, but I could only see him fitting in at Tottenham out of the big 6 sides.
However, as I said, he is having an excellent season.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Quickenthetempo » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:57 am

Rileybobs wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:42 am
It’s not really an obsession is it. Kicking is quite a fundamental part of football.
Every game it gets mentioned.

He kicks it way over the half way line. It's totally fine for how we play.
Not as if we have lots of players demanding the ball off him.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by superdimitri » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:15 am

We usually play with two big men up top, kicking accurately to them would certainly help the way we play. Most kicks go too far or too deep, and if they hit a man it's often not a centre forward.

Doesn't retract from his performance otherwise, and he's improved his distribution rolling it out, throwing and reading the game in possession better.

Just wish he could sometimes hit a centre forwards noggin, especially in games when we usually have very little possession and any chance to keep the ball is few and far between.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Stayingup » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:17 am

Siddo wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:28 pm
Good shout, but he had retired within his 55 year window.
Was he forced into retirement with a broken leg?

No question Pope, Mee and Tarkowski are fantastic. Pity that currently if the opposition score a goal they are likely to be on the losing team. No wonder Tarkowski wants out. It must get depressing.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Quickenthetempo » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:23 am

superdimitri wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:15 am
We usually play with two big men up top, kicking accurately to them would certainly help the way we play. Most kicks go too far or too deep, and if they hit a man it's often not a centre forward.

Doesn't retract from his performance otherwise, and he's improved his distribution rolling it out, throwing and reading the game in possession better.

Just wish he could sometimes hit a centre forwards noggin, especially in games when we usually have very little possession and any chance to keep the ball is few and far between.
Our centre forwards aren't interested in winning headers from goal kicks. Barnes tries to gain free kicks from them and Wood half challengers to try and put the defender off and hope one of our players can pick the 2nd ball up.

Wood becomes good in the air if he can score.

No point winning flick ons as they simply haven't got the pace.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Rileybobs » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:35 am

superdimitri wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:15 am
We usually play with two big men up top, kicking accurately to them would certainly help the way we play. Most kicks go too far or too deep, and if they hit a man it's often not a centre forward.

Doesn't retract from his performance otherwise, and he's improved his distribution rolling it out, throwing and reading the game in possession better.

Just wish he could sometimes hit a centre forwards noggin, especially in games when we usually have very little possession and any chance to keep the ball is few and far between.
Whilst that's sometimes the case, I think that the opposite applies when he kicks back-passes first time. He often wedges under the ball and fails to reach the halfway line with the spin on the ball heading back towards our goal and the defenders moving in the opposite direction. Like you say though, a more accurate long kick would definitely benefit the way we play for a number of reasons.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by superdimitri » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:35 am

Quickenthetempo wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:23 am
Our centre forwards aren't interested in winning headers from goal kicks. Barnes tries to gain free kicks from them and Wood half challengers to try and put the defender off and hope one of our players can pick the 2nd ball up.

Wood becomes good in the air if he can score.

No point winning flick ons as they simply haven't got the pace.
They can't do anything with the ball if they don't get it. I don't think any team has more strikers who are able to hold up the ball then we do. The reason headers are not won by them is because they never have the opportunity... And if they do they have to run 15 feet to even challenge.

A better kicker and you start to see them bring others into play more, headers won, more hold up play with the ball to chest and feet too. We've seen it before with Heaton and it's even more apparent in the select games where Pope isn't playing.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by boatshed bill » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:18 am

Rileybobs wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:35 am
Whilst that's sometimes the case, I think that the opposite applies when he kicks back-passes first time. He often wedges under the ball and fails to reach the halfway line with the spin on the ball heading back towards our goal and the defenders moving in the opposite direction. Like you say though, a more accurate long kick would definitely benefit the way we play for a number of reasons.
Although we are going a bit off topic:
we can find criticism in Pope's kicking, no doubt.
But if his kicking was 100% brilliant we'd still be a long ball team.
We'd still have the same problems up front. Wood trying the art of the "flick-on", (a 70's tactic!) Barnes trying to win free-kicks.
Neither is good enough to hold and lay off a decent ball, not helped by the fact that the midfield is so deep they'd have to be olympic sprinters to get up in support :D

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by dsr » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:14 pm

superdimitri wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:15 am
We usually play with two big men up top, kicking accurately to them would certainly help the way we play. Most kicks go too far or too deep, and if they hit a man it's often not a centre forward.

Doesn't retract from his performance otherwise, and he's improved his distribution rolling it out, throwing and reading the game in possession better.

Just wish he could sometimes hit a centre forwards noggin, especially in games when we usually have very little possession and any chance to keep the ball is few and far between.
If he could play an accurate ball 60 yards on a regular basis, he'd be Glenn Hoddle and he wouldn't be playing in goal! :D

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Vegas Claret » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:39 pm

in the middle of our goal

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by superdimitri » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:03 pm

dsr wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:14 pm
If he could play an accurate ball 60 yards on a regular basis, he'd be Glenn Hoddle and he wouldn't be playing in goal! :D
Maybe, but his kicking is Beresford bad, and back then we had Steve Davis take our goal kicks. Pope more than makes up for it though, he probably wouldn't be with us if it wasn't so bad.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by boatshed bill » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:13 pm

superdimitri wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:03 pm
Maybe, but his kicking is Beresford bad, and back then we had Steve Davis take our goal kicks. Pope more than makes up for it though, he probably wouldn't be with us if it wasn't so bad.
Some of the backpasses he receives are less than helpful.
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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Spijed » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:58 pm

It's a modern trend in football that being a good goalkeeper is no more important than how well a keeper kicks it upfield. Likewise with defenders, where being a good defender is nor more important than attacking up the pitch.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Vegas Claret » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:06 pm

I'd rather have a keeper who commands his area, is a good shot stopper and bang average at kicking than the other way around. No need to **** about, just keep the ball out of the net
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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Devils_Advocate » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:48 pm

Spijed wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:58 pm
It's a modern trend in football that being a good goalkeeper is no more important than how well a keeper kicks it upfield. Likewise with defenders, where being a good defender is nor more important than attacking up the pitch.
How does this approach compare with a manager who will select a winger based on how well they will track back and defend over how skillful and creative they are.

Sounds very similar to me and just points to the fact that managers pick the players who have the attributes that best suit their teams tactics and style of play

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Siddo » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:07 pm

Vegas Claret wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:06 pm
I'd rather have a keeper who commands his area, is a good shot stopper and bang average at kicking than the other way around. No need to **** about, just keep the ball out of the net
Every keeper in the EPL is a good shot stopper. There aren't too many crosses in a game against the top 6, but all the top keepers are comfortable with the ball at their feet. The funny thing is you can either kick and control the ball or you can't. Its not something that training can overcome, otherwise Nick would be perfect under Billy Mercer.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Wile E Coyote » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:31 pm

I was apprehensive when he came into the side, but only because heaton had been incredible. didnt take long to realise how good pope was. we have been blessed with two of the best anywhere in recent times. I never shut up about how brilliant tom was, but some of popes performances have been truly outstanding. i know dyche plays that stuff down by saying that's what hes there for, but we all know how great he is.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Vegas Claret » Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:15 am

Siddo wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:07 pm
Every keeper in the EPL is a good shot stopper. There aren't too many crosses in a game against the top 6, but all the top keepers are comfortable with the ball at their feet. The funny thing is you can either kick and control the ball or you can't. Its not something that training can overcome, otherwise Nick would be perfect under Billy Mercer.
Disagree with pretty much all of that tbh

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Siddo » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:06 am

Vegas Claret wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:15 am
Disagree with pretty much all of that tbh
So top keepers are not good shot stoppers?
Top 6 teams put in a lot of crosses in a game?
Nick's kicking is improving?

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by what_no_pies » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:51 pm

Bordeauxclaret wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:59 pm
I know we are biased but he seems to be the best English goalkeeper by some distance at the moment.
Injury spell aside Pope has been consistently better than Pickford since 2017. Southgate really ought to have acknowledged this by now and his failure to do so is a massive hindrance to England's prospects. All the stats I've seen back this opinion up too so its not about our (obvious) bias.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by what_no_pies » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:55 pm

On the subject of goalkeeper coaches, I've noticed a significant improvement in David De Gea since Craig Mason joined Manchester United. Billy Mercer could be credited for developing his coaching team much like he has our Goalies over the years but how big of a miss is Mason likely to be to us? Can anyone offer any informed insight on this?

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by ChrisG » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:00 pm

Siddo wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:20 pm
I can't agree with that. I don't believe he is better than Blacklaw, Stevenson, Thomson and even Tony Waiters. I also don't believe that he is better than Heaton.
I do agree that he is having an excellent season but still think his kicking will convince Southgate to select Pickford for England, but he is a better keeper than Pickford.
In some ways Nick is similar to Waiters, who also struggled with his kicking and that was a problem even then, never mind in today's game of sweeper keeper and playing from the back, which I am not a fan of.
Not disputing what you are saying as I was brought up on Division 4, but what attributes in particular made Blacklaw et al better than Pope? Genuine question, I'm interested as to what made them so good.

As an aside, I met Adam Blacklaw a couple of times when he was a security guard at Nelson Arndale; he knew my dad well. Lovely bloke.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Frenchclaret » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:02 pm

ChrisG wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:00 pm
Not disputing what you are saying as I was brought up on Division 4, but what attributes in particular made Blacklaw et al better than Pope? Genuine question, I'm interested as to what made them so good.

As an aside, I met Adam Blacklaw a couple of times when he was a security guard at Nelson Arndale; he knew my dad well. Lovely bloke.
Lovely bloke - he certainly was. At his peak he was the finest of keepers but he lived next door to a good friend of mine and we often talked to him. Unfortunately, he had little time for talking football. Some days he had no idea who they played next! But nevertheless he was a perfect gentleman.

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by Vegas Claret » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:20 pm

Siddo wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:06 am
So top keepers are not good shot stoppers?
define top keeper

Top 6 teams put in a lot of crosses in a game?
yes, quite often - 90% of corners get crossed in to. Also, we don't play the top 6 every week.........but here are the facts
https://www.premierleague.com/stats/top ... otal_cross

Nick's kicking is improving?
A huge mount this season, he's clearly no Ederson but he rarely kicks the ball straight out of play like he used to

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Re: Nick Pope

Post by boatshed bill » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:09 pm

what_no_pies wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:55 pm
On the subject of goalkeeper coaches, I've noticed a significant improvement in David De Gea since Craig Mason joined Manchester United. Billy Mercer could be credited for developing his coaching team much like he has our Goalies over the years but how big of a miss is Mason likely to be to us? Can anyone offer any informed insight on this?
A great opportunity for Mawson.
We have replaced him with a German coach, who I think brought Richter to the U23s.

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