The Scott Bain vs Craig Gordon battle is only ever truly going to have one winner. That’s why it’s right that Brendan Rodgers chose the former over the latter for Sunday.
Second-choice goalkeeper Bain will take to the Hampden turf to face Aberdeen this weekend. He’s been between the sticks throughout the entire Betfred Cup run, and merits his place.
Gordon has done remarkably well so far this season to shake off the critics. The former Hearts and Sunderland man has often been criticised for not being commanding enough in his decision-making.
This season, however, there’s been no real glaring errors from the Hoops number one. Instead, he’s kept a terrific 12 clean sheets in 26 appearances. Considering 13 of those matches have been European games, that’s impressive.
But Bain has been equally as commanding in his Betfred opportunities. In his four appearances in a Celtic jersey this season, the former Dundee and Hibs star has only shipped one goal. His last three outings have all seen Celtic keep clean sheets against the likes of Hearts and Livingston respectively.
Chances up for grabs
It announces to the squad that opportunities are up for grabs, and that you will be rewarded if you impress. So many managers would revert back to their number one goalkeeper for a cup final. It shows huge faith in Bain that he’s been given this opportunity.
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It’s the kind of decision that can increase morale in the squad and for Bain personally. Gordon won’t be affected as he’ll understand that Bain has been the man to lead Celtic to the final. Gordon has had and will have a massive part to play between now and the end of the season.
Bain, however, could do with the game-time and the chance to contribute to the season. He’s already spoken of how big a boost it is to him personally, and that’s a plus-point for the manager.
Of course, we all know Gordon will come back into the fray after the cup-final. That’s just the nature of the beast, and Bain understands that.
What’s most important, however, is that the squad understand that they all have a big part to play. Rodgers is showing through Bain’s selection that opportunities are there to be grasped.
It’s a brave move by Rodgers, as it opens himself up to easy criticism should the result not go Celtic’s way on Sunday.
But is it the right choice? Undoubtedly.