Celtic man Craig Gordon must be kicking himself after Allan McGregor's Scotland retirement

By David Walton

March 12, 2019

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon must now be absolutely kicking himself after the Allan McGregor news.

The Rangers number one has retired from international football. That’s despite the fact he’s clearly Alex McLeish’s number one goalkeeper, and started the Nations League crunch games against Albania and Israel.

Yet, despite the clear liking McLeish has for McGregor, the latter has decided to hang up the international gloves.

Now, the race is on to see who becomes Scotland’s number one goalkeeper. But, incredibly, it certainly won’t be Gordon.

Craig Gordon has played twice for Scotland this season (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Celtic on verge of first January signing, as Hatate says his goodbyes | Celtic vs Aberdeen Preview

The Hoops number two lost his place to Scott Bain after the winter break. That came despite a stunning one-man show at Ibrox, where Gordon clearly saved Celtic from a bit of a doing from Rangers.

The former Hearts and Sunderland shot-stopper has also started for Scotland this season. He made two appearances for McLeish’s side in the first half of the campaign. Therefore, it would’ve been reasonable to assume that he would’ve been the number one once more for Scotland had he just stayed in the Celtic team.

Instead, he hasn’t even been called up for the upcoming squad to face Kazakhstan and San Marino. Both Jordan Archer and Jon McLaughlin have been named in the squad instead, alongside Bain of course.

Scott Bain must be the favourite

You have to consider Bain the favourite, but Gordon must be tearing his hair out.

His distribution let him down whilst he was in goal. Disastrous mistakes in Europe against the likes of RB Salzburg and Bayern Munich in recent years stand out. More often than not, however, Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer would bail Gordon out of jail.

Is Scott Bain close to becoming Scotland’s number one? (MB Media/Getty Images)

Had he just managed to stay in the team for a few months longer, however, that Scotland jersey was his.

It’s premature to say that Gordon’s Scotland career is over. After all, he could break back into the Celtic team once again. It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened and can’t be ruled out. He done it before when Dorus de Vries took his spot back in 2016.

But, for now, it’s a story of what if for Gordon. Fans noticed he wasn’t in the match-day squad to face Aberdeen at the weekend, and that has only raised questions about his position at the club.

McGregor’s retirement should’ve been a big opportunity for Gordon. Instead, however, it’s a missed one as Bain gets set to take his place.