Jamie Carragher feels that there was a “marked contrast” between Andre Onana and Nick Pope in midweek, as the latter “generates confidence” despite not being “considered world-class”.
Neither Manchester United nor Newcastle have performed exceptionally in their Champions League groups. United have won just one game, and sit bottom of their group on four points.
In the Magpies’ case – while it must be said they’re in a very hard group – despite overcoming Paris Saint-Germain in a historic 4-1 win in their second game, they’re third in their group, only on five points, having drawn twice and lost twice.
One of those draws was away in Paris, in which Newcastle were winning for most of the game before a controversial stoppage time penalty went the way of PSG, and Kylian Mbappe slotted it home.
Goalkeeper Pope made six saves, and was the Magpies’ highest-rated player.
Carragher feels that while he might not be a world-class asset, he’s a particularly useful player for his side, and is in better form then Onana, who he’ll face this weekend as Newcastle take on Man Utd.
“Pope may not be considered world-class by those beyond St James’ Park. But you can be sure Eddie Howe rates him as one of his most astute purchases,” Carragher told The Telegraph.
“He is a big part of why Newcastle have gone from the bottom half of the Premier League into the Champions League. There was a marked contrast between Pope and Onana in midweek.
“The best keepers generate confidence while the most susceptible create tension.”
Indeed, Onana’s performance was rated very poorly, as he yet again made a mistake leading to a goal. The goalkeeper was wrong-footed by a somewhat tame Hakim Ziyech effort, which helped Galatasaray to a 3-3 draw, after United had been 3-1 up.
When the Red Devils face off against Newcastle, who they’re leading by just a point in the league, they’ll hope Onana is up to the task.
It’s said everyone at the club is “supporting” him, but if he keeps making mistakes, that won’t last forever.