Nick Pope to Newcastle United – Bizarre reaction from these NUFC fans as talks progress

Nick Pope looks set to sign for Newcastle United.

With Sky Sports, BBC Sport and pretty much all of the written media now reporting that a deal is imminent.

All parties said to be happy with the transfer, both clubs and of course the goalkeeper himself.

As has been reported in recent days, Freddie Woodman and Karl Darlow looking set to leave St James Park, meaning Nick Pope will be competing with Martin Dubravka for the number one spot.

It looks like a very good step forward to me, Newcastle United ending up with arguably two of the best ten keepers in the Premier League and whoever ends up on the bench (assuming Nick Pope does sign for NUFC) when the season kicks off against Forest , being the best backup keeper in the top tier.

Whilst many Newcastle United have reacted positively to the news, a significant minority haven’t been so enthusiastic, indeed quite the opposite.

Here are a few comments I have read today…

‘If Newcastle want a new goalkeeper, then distribution should be the focus.’

‘Terrible with his feet.’

“I don’t quite see us spending money on a keeper who has such poor distribution. Dubravka is bad enough’

‘Nick Pope poor with the ball at his feet and it seems a big u-turn from Eddie Howe, playing long ball football not possession.’

‘Can’t believe we’re after this Burnley keeper, decent with his hands, not so much with his feet. Same as Martin Dubravka.’

Honestly, never read so much nonsense in my life.

I think so many people these days spend too much time staring at a screen playing computer games, rather than watching actual football.

The same with this stats obsession so many have, yes stats play a part in helping to form opinions BUT you have to also use the evidence of your own eyes AND common sense.

Nick Pope has made his name these last four seasons in the Premier League, playing for Burnley. Yes, that’s right, Burnley. Burnley who were rarely great to watch but who against the odds have done well to survive in the top tier so long, doing so by playing with physical big strikers up front and regularly hitting the ball long.

I find the criticism of Nick Pope regarding his kicking game, as way over the top. It is laughable. the way Burnley have played consistently, was never really so much about trying to hit the ball long and keep possession. It was mainly a means of getting Burnley up the pitch and press the other team as far back as possible.

The thing is as well, unless you are talking about how real elite teams such as Liverpool and Man City play, stopping the ball going in the back of the net is the big job! The likes of Man City and Liverpool have so much possession that a bit like their centre-backs, their goalkeepers are largely chosen on the basis of them having the ball a lot in possession, as opposed to overwhelmingly worrying about the stopping the ball going in the net bit.

Despite ending up relegated, there were actually ten Premier League clubs who conceded more goals than Nick Pope and Burnley last season.

As for those writing off Martin Dubravka, you have to worry about short-term memory loss for so many NUFC fans. The last 20 Premier League games, if you take out the games at Spurs and Man City, saw Dubravka conceded only 11 goals in the other 18 matches and did not concede more than eleven in any of those eighteen.

I have seen this comment regularly today, used about both Nick Pope and Martin Dubravka, about them being good shot stoppers. The term used often in a bit of a patronizing / derogatory way it seems to me, the stats brigade seemingly wanting us to all think that other things are far more important.

Hmmm, last time I looked, stopping those shots going into the back of the net was pretty important AND whilst Allison and Ederson are excellent at picking men out with long passes, they aren’t too bad either with that stopping it going in the goal bit.

If / when Nick Pope comes in, it will be the first time in a long time that Newcastle United have had such a good pair of goalkeepers, maybe even back to the days of the brilliant Shay Given and the very good Steve Harper.

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