CRAIG GORDON has been tipped to come out on top in Celtic’s clash of the keepers by former Scotland star James McFadden.
The Scotland international lost his first team place to new Bhoy Dorus de Vries for the 4-1 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead on Saturday.
Gordon is still in with a chance of playing in Scotland’s World Cup opener in Malta on Sunday, but there is a doubt over his Hoops position with The “Rangers” due on September 10 and the opening Champions League tie against Barcelona at the Nou Camp three days later.
Former Scotland maverick McFadden knows the qualities of his old Scots team-mate and he has put his faith in the 33-year-old shotstopper reclaiming the No.1 spot in Brendan Rodgers’ line-up.
The Motherwell assistant boss said: “I would back him. Craig’s a top goalkeeper and obviously it’s a difficult situation for him now where the manager has brought in his own player.
“Craig will be up for the challenge and, hopefully, he will come through and win his battle for the jersey.
“It’s a wee bit like Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, I think he [Rodgers] just had his mind made up he was going to bring someone in.
“I don’t think it was needed, but I’m not going to tell Brendan Rodgers how to do his job. He’s started well and I’m just talking about Craig Gordon the way I know him and I think he’s a top goalkeeper.
“For me, he’ll fight for his place and, hopefully, he’ll win it.
“The Champions League is obviously a massive thing. All the hard work in qualifying then Craig didn’t play at the weekend. It would have been a sickener for him.
“He’s got to back himself. I’m sure he will and, hopefully, the best goalie at the time plays. I hope it’s Craig.”
Rodgers’ style of play lends itself to the last line of defence orchestrating the start of attacking moves with expert distribution.
De Vries fluffed his lines twice against the Dons – one, in particular, in the first-half when he was bailed out by Kolo Toure – but the Hoops boss admitted he had been impressed by his former Swansea player.
McFadden believes Gordon is more than able to carry out the role. He said: “For me, goalies are goalkeepers. I don’t want them to do a million keepy-uppies.
“I want them to save shots. I want them to catch the ball – I hate seeing them punch the ball.
“I want my goalkeeper to save shots and keep you in the game. If he’s good with his feet, then excellent, but that’s not the main criteria for me. A goalie needs to be a goalkeeper.
“Craig saves shots he shouldn’t. For me, he’s great with the ball at his feet. It’s something he’s improved on over the years, so I don’t think De Vries has come in because he’s better with his feet. Craig’s very good.
“I think he is still a top goalkeeper.”
De Vries had a slightly hesitant debut on Saturday although was blameless for the Aberdeen goal. Gordon was seen by name to have been partly responsible for the two goals conceded in that nail biting match in Israel.
So who do you reckon is the best choice as Celtic’s No.1? Do you agree with James McFadden? The question we are asking in this Poll is IS GORDON BETTER THAN DE VRIES? Will be an interesting Poll to watch…
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.