England have not had a proper No 1 since David Seaman retired, says Peter Schmeichel

Tom Kershaw
·2-min read

Peter Schmeichel claimed that England have not had an outstanding No 1 goalkeeper since David Seaman last played internationally in 2002 amid concerns over Jordan Pickford’s position under Gareth Southgate.

Pickford has been Southgate’s first choice since taking charge of the Three Lions, however, a series of errors with Everton have fostered doubt over the 26-year-old’s long-term role in the team.

Burnley’s Nick Pope and Manchester United’s Dean Henderson are both vying for Pickford’s position, although the latter is unlikely to achieve that while playing back-up to David De Gea.

Schmeichel, though, believes it has been almost two decades since England had a goalkeeper of true stature.

“What you're talking about here is three goalkeepers: one [Pickford] has played for England for three years and made mistakes in the Premier League — those are your words — one [Henderson] is not playing at all, played last season for Sheffield United, you know; and the other [Pope] plays for Burnley, who are rock-bottom of the Premier League,” Schmeichel told The Times.

On Pickford, Schmeichel added: “He probably feels like he’s got to show the world all the time that he is the best, and by trying to show the world, that’s where all the big mistakes come from: you’re trying to come for a cross you’ve got no chance of reaching.”

Asked who he prefers out of the three, Schmeichel instead raised the prospect of Joe Hart’s return to the national set-up, with the goalkeeper now at Tottenham.

“When was the last time England had a No 1?” Schmeichel said. “Joe Hart is still playing. Why is he not the No 1? Hart is only 33 years old. He's probably in his prime. The question, for me, would probably be answered with David Seaman. He's probably the last No 1 you had.”