Craig Gordon’s chances have been limited to say the least over the last eight months.
The odd cup outing here and there seems to have been his whack. When Scott Bain was given the gloves after the winter break back in January against Airdrie, not many would’ve believed they were his to keep.
Bain went on to have a decent second half of the season. It’s important to remember that it also included a run of eight consecutive domestic clean sheets. In fact, the only thing that halted that run was James Scott’s lack of sportsmanship against Motherwell. He had an impressive run in the first half of 2019.
But the Scotland goalkeeper has now started the new campaign in shaky form. Poor goalkeeping has led to dreadful goals being let in against Cluj (x2) and Motherwell over the last couple of weeks.
Added to that, Bain’s distribution levels have suffered because of it. He doesn’t look as comfortable with the ball at his feet, and looks like a player who needs to be taken out of the spotlight.
The goalkeeping position, however, is one of great importance. It’s not a position you want to be chopping and changing in. And therefore, with Bain’s poor form, is it time for Gordon to reclaim his place permanently?
Craig Gordon’s chances looked to have improved
He is, after all, a much better shot-stopper than Bain. You could even argue we would still be in the Champions League had Gordon been in the nets last week. But that’s in the past now.
Gordon has been biding his time, and was only given his first outing of the season at the weekend against Dunfermline. Yes, he conceded a goal, but it was nowhere near his fault. It’s also not as if Bain would’ve saved it either.
It will be interesting to see whether Gordon’s inclusion against the Dunfermline is the reverse of last January. Will Neil Lennon continue to pick the experienced veteran over Bain? It’s a real mystery heading into Thursday night’s clash against AIK.
Lennon will be keen to keep his cards close to his chest. And, in fairness, there are plenty of supporters who don’t want Gordon back in either. It’s all a matter of opinion, with another popular train of thought being that we need a new goalkeeper altogether.
That doesn’t look like happening, however. At the moment, there’s an extremely interesting battle for the number one spot as it is.
Lennon’s decision on Thursday will tell us all we need to know about who he now favours for the big occasion. Bain was only reportedly set to miss one game with his hand injury (The Herald), so he should be fit for Thursday night. Let’s see if Lenny puts his trust back into him once again.