England manager Gareth Southgate’s goakeeping coach Martyn Margetson has formally confirmed Jack Butland is very much in contention for a place in Germany, with the national goalkeeping situation really not in the best condition.
As Ibrox Noise suggested, aside the decidedly decent but not spectacular Jordan Pickford, England have nothing to pick from. Nick Pope is injured, Sam Johnstone likewise and also benched, and the only one left is Fraser Forster which is not exactly rich pickings.
Butland is now officially in England’s crosshairs and Margetson said this on the Rangers number one:
“Jack is definitely on the radar, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve been watching all of his games and I’ve been really pleased with how he’s performed. He’s doing himself a power of good. I get videos of all his Rangers appearances sent to me by the FA so that gives me a chance to study all of Jack’s games. I then report back to Gareth but I have to say, I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from Jack, particularly of late.”
So, the goalie coach is scouting Butland, and he’s greatly impressing him.
He went on:
“It looks like he’s thought a lot about his game. I see a lot of things in there where I feel he’s really making the most of his experience to improve himself. You see it tactically in the positions he’s taking up and he’s in a really good place. So he’s doing himself a power of good. Anybody who is playing first-team football at a good level automatically comes into the reckoning so all credit to Jack.”
This is a huge statement to make – that England’s Margetson is considering the SPL a ‘good level’. There’s a lot of implication here and we’ll get to that.
“He’s playing for a huge club and I know having looked at his stuff, he’s doing well. I’m not guaranteeing him that he’ll be in the squad but what I’m saying is that myself and Gareth and fully aware that he’s doing a great job at Rangers. Jack Butland’s job now is to keep that going. If he does, that will benefit Jack and it will benefit Rangers too.”
So this is the strongest hint that Butland is a major contender to be included for Germany.
The biggest takeaway from all this is that Jack Butland might not have to move back to the Premier League to get his England dream – the national setup down south know that Rangers and Celtic are a pressure unlike any clubs in the UK aside the Liverpools, Cities, Utds, Arsenals and Chelseas down south, and to deliver at this club is a massive achievement.
While there’s a gigantic snobbery about the SPL (understandably, it’s terrible), there’s a difference with the Old Firm and the quality/pressure – the problem though is that Rangers nor Celtic have actually had any truly England-level players in their squads for a long time, aside Forster.
And he got the call up for Woy’s England.
Whereas Butland? Absolutely. He’s England-level, and certainly is if Jordan Pickford is.
He might just get his England dream, and he might just stay at Rangers to do it.