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06th Mar 2018

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville don’t see eye-to-eye on England’s goalkeeper for the World Cup

"I'd go slightly towards Pickford. I've seen Butland make some big mistakes"

Robert Redmond

“I’d go slightly towards Pickford. I’ve seen Butland make some big mistakes.”

England have a problem position that needs to be solved by June. Gareth Southgate’s team go into the World Cup without an established number one goalkeeper, after Joe Hart lost form and then his starting place for West Ham. The 30-year-old has been the first choice ‘keeper for his country since the qualification campaign for Euro 2012 and has 75 caps for England.

However, his form has dipped over the past few seasons, and David Moyes dropped him for Adrian a few games after taking charge of the Hammers. Unless Hart can win his place back, and show some form, it appears England will be choosing between Stoke’s Jack Butland and Everton’s Jordan Pickford to start their first game of the World Cup, against Tunisia in Volgograd. Burnley’s Nick Pope could also be in contention, after impressing for Burnley this season.

However, the trio are inexperienced at senior international level. Butland has six caps, Pickford has one cap and Pope has yet to be capped. On Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville discussed England’s goalkeeper options, and Carragher said he would select Pickford to start the first game of the World Cup.

“Sadly, it’s between Pickford and Butland,” Carragher said.

“When I say sadly it’s because they are two young goalkeepers without much experience. It’s very difficult to put Joe Hart in, one, because he’s not playing, and two, he’s not playing very well when he has been playing wither at West Ham or on loan at Torino last season. I think I’d go slightly towards Pickford. I’ve seen Butland make some big mistakes.”

However, Neville argued that Butland would be a better option because he has experience of being at a tournament with England. He was an unused substitute at Euro 2012.

“You could consider Joe Hart and if he gets back into the team he has to be a real consideration because a World Cup is not for messing around in terms of trialling a goalkeeper,” Neville said.

“If you look at Pickford he’s never been to a tournament and you might say he’s young, but a World Cup is a brutal place to learn. If you think about how unforgiving it is in terms of the travelling, the expectation and the adrenaline. Butland’s been to a couple of tournaments, he’s sat on the sidelines, he’s watched, he has seen how it can be and how difficult it can be. I would say I’d edge towards Butland based on the fact of letting Pickford watch a tournament. He’s got talent but don’t kill it in the first tournament. Pickford’s a big talent but he’s got some maturing to do. He’s a young goalkeeper who is learning on the job and the Premier League is a harsh environment.”

Butland has conceded 47 goals in 26 Premier League games this season, keeping five clean sheets. Pickford has conceded 49 goals in 29 league games this season, keeping six clean sheets.

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