With two months of the 2022/23 season in the books, it made sense for our friends over FUN88 to hand a second Player of the Month award to one of our beloved Magpies. Turns out they didn’t have to think too much about it and ended up awarding Nick Pope his second and back-to-back PotM award of the season!
Back-to-back FUN88 Player of the Month awards for Nick Pope!— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 5, 2022
After having a fantastic debut for his new team in Newcastle upon Tyne back in August—one that already earned him this very same award—Nick Pope hasn’t stopped performing to impressive levels of late.
In a month in which different issues held Newcastle to only two games played—a goalless draw away at Crystal Palace and another draw at one at St James’ Park against Bournemouth—Pope only conceded one goal in 180 minutes of playing time. The clean sheet against Palace marked his third of the season after having done so against Brighton and Nottingham Forest to kick the year off.
Truth be told, Pope has been so good for Newcastle that nobody remembers Martin Dubravka nor is thinking about having to watch Loris Karius manning the goalposts any time soon barring an injury-related catastrophe suffered by Pope.
An England international and upcoming member of the Three Lions’ World Cup contingent, Pope saved 11 of the 12 shots on target he faced in the two games he started in September. That is a 91.6% save percentage over 180 minutes of play in which Pope’s Post-Shot Expected Goals amounted to 1.6 while he only conceded one goal over those two games. In other words: Pope overperformed the expectations by saving Newcastle from (rounding to the nearest integer) conceding one more goal than the Magpies actually did.
Here are Pope’s performances through the end of September, including his basic and advanced statistics courtesy of FBref:
Here are Pope’s 12 shots on target faced during the past month, six from outside the box and six more from inside of it—including the only one to end in an opposition goal in the game against Bournemouth.
Newcastle might be lacking some firepower upfront—or maybe they don’t anymore!—but one thing is clear and it is that no one is getting past Pope’s gloves.