Pope chasing down Cech's goalkeeping record

By James Harding 1 Feb 2023

Newcastle star has Chelsea legend's single-season clean-sheet mark in his sights

Related Articles
January's Castrol Save of the Month nominees
When can Haaland break record for goals in a season?
The best of Petr Cech

A remarkable run of form for Nick Pope means the Newcastle United goalkeeper has a Premier League record that has stood for 18 years in his sights, and is eight matches from another mark.

Pope has kept 12 clean sheets in 20 appearances since joining the Magpies from Burnley last summer, helping his side to third place in the table.

The record for the most shutouts in a single season stands at a staggering 24, set by Petr Cech for Chelsea in 2004/05.

If Pope can maintain his current run of form, that mark looks very attainable.

The England international has kept six clean sheets in a row, with that run extending to 10 across all competitions. Remarkably, he has not let in a goal since a 4-1 win at Southampton on 6 November, 83 days ago.

Pope still has some way to go in terms of the record for the most consecutive clean sheets by a goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Edwin van der Sar produced 14 shutouts in a row for Manchester United between November and February in the 2008/09 season.

But what is impressive about Pope's current campaign is that he is averaging more saves per match than both Cech and Van der Sar did in their record-breaking campaigns. 

Cech, Van der Sar and Pope compared
  Cech 04/05 Van der Sar 08/09 Pope 22/23
Matches played 35 33 20
Clean sheets 24 21 12
Total saves 65 71 51
Saves per match 1.9 2.2 2.6
Save percentage 82.9 77.4 82.3

Pope's form has put him in pole position to claim this season’s Castrol Golden Glove for the most clean sheets, with the Newcastle star currently three clear of his nearest rival, Aaron Ramsdale.

In the short term he also has a chance to win January's Castrol Save of the Month award, having been nominated for his spectacular stop in last weekend’s goalless draw at Crystal Palace

Race for the Golden Glove
Player Clean sheets
Pope 12
Ramsdale 9
De Gea 8
Ederson 8
Raya 7

Up next for Pope and Newcastle in the Premier League is a home fixture against West Ham United on Saturday 4 February.

The Hammers have failed to score in three of their last five away matches, presenting Pope with a good opportunity to extend his streak.

But following a trip to AFC Bournemouth a week later, the schedule toughens for Eddie Howe’s side.

Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion visit St James’ Park before a trip to Manchester City, the highest scorers in the competition so far, with 53 goals, eight more than anyone else.

'Best goalkeeper in the world'

Pope’s outstanding performances have drawn praise from his team-mates, manager and former players.

Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes described Pope as the “best goalkeeper in the world” following the 1-0 midweek win over Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg.

Howe praised Pope’s ability to produce big saves at crucial moments while former Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given said the ex-Burnley stopper was in the “best run of form in his career” following the victory at St Mary’s Stadium.

It has been an incredible turnaround for Newcastle, who only kept eight clean sheets last season.

The addition of Pope has helped to transform the backline, and in his current form, breaking Cech’s single-season record looks an achievable target.

Latest Videos

More Videos