England's Nick Pope says it will be 'every man for themselves'


With the World Cup three months away, Gareth Southgate's preparations continue with warm-up friendlies against Netherlands and Italy over the next week.

That would allow Dier to take up a spot in defence and give Southgate another tactical option in Russian Federation, providing this particular plan is utilised to good effect in the friendlies with Holland and I Azzurri.

Alexander-Arnold, who was named in the latest England Under-21s squad, has made 13 Premier League appearances for the Reds this season.

"If I wasn't in this squad I would be an outsider for the World Cup at most".

He said: "When you get released by Ipswich at 16 you think making it is a distant possibility".

"I have a lot of learning to do but I have to enjoy it as well".

Pope did spare a thought for Heaton, who has much to do to force his way back into contention after six months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.

But he isn't content with just receiving a call-up he once believed impossible and wants to start England's World Cup opener against Tunisia on June 18. "I'm not taking anything for granted at club level, let alone for England". "There's two friendlies now and a couple at the end of the season, as well as Premier League matches to play, and I think every minute will count".

"I feel as though I've put in the hard yards and proved myself at that level to try to get to this".

One thing's for sure, Nick Pope the soccer player has been out of this world this season.

"There has got to be one number one".

Southgate is clearly unsure about his goalkeeper situation.

England's regular goalkeeper Joe Hart is struggling for form having been dropped by West Ham United and while Stoke City's Jack Butland and Everton's Jordan Pickford are ahead of him in the queue, Pope has gained plenty of admirers.

Hart has always been first choice for England but was dumped by Manchester City early in the 2016-17 season and has barely played since November on loan at West Ham.

Pope, quite clearly, is the most in-form goalkeeper of the quartet.

He said: "In football things change so quickly and things are rarely set in stone". I worked on a milk round and in Next as well.