Sunderland blog: Gordon Will Go But We Wish Him Well

"it’s time to say goodbye to Craig"

Sunderland blog: Gordon Will Go But We Wish Him Well

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April 27th, 2012

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As the season winds down for all clubs not just ourselves, thoughts immediately turn to who will be at Sunderland next season. We can all speculate who will come in, and most fans have a clear idea of where is needed to improve and solidify the side as a top ten team, but there’s also the matter of who will leave to sort out.

It’s still anyone’s guess as to whether star players like Stephane Sessegnon are truly happy at the club, but one big name on the way out for sure will be Scotland international Craig Gordon.

Gordon, signed under Roy Keane, was at the time the most expensive goalkeeper in the country, costing us a cool £9m, and although he may not have justified the price tag entirely, he has without doubt been a great player.

Gordon came in replacing an aging Darren Ward, who had served us very well, but simply not cut out to be a Premier League keeper.

Many baulked at the price paid for a keeper with only experience of the Scottish Premier League, me included, but our lack of trust was rewarded with a string of fine performances, including in a win over Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light, one of the best saves I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing live when Gordon clawed the ball off the line from Zat Knight’s point-blank stab at goal.

For all the great games, injuries remained a huge problem for Gordon though. A broken arm suffered against Tottenham Hotspur would leave him never quite the same keeper again, and upon trying to force his way back into the manager’s plans, only managed to injure himself once again, leading to another lengthy absence.

Now for the first time in easily a year or two, Gordon is fully fit. That would be great if we didn’t have  Simon Mignolet and debatably Kieren Westwood ahead of him in the pecking order, having firmly established themselves at the club during Gordon’s prolonged absence.

Many fans will still tell you despite the great form of Mignolet, Gordon should be the number one. For me, that’s absolute madness given the length of time he’s been out.

With Gordon out of contract this summer, and two keepers ahead of him, it’s looking like it’s time to say goodbye to Craig with good grace.

Gordon served us well, we can’t thank him enough for some of the great games, and while it’s sad he’ll be leaving for nothing having never fully justified his pricetag, purely though a lack of games, not the quality of those in which he did play, we do wish him well.

Many speculate a move to Celtic will be on the cards for Gordon, but while I mean no disrespect to them, Gordon could be playing at a much higher level. When he finds himself at another Premier League side as I expect, I look forward to giving him a warm round of applause.

Read the rest of Simon’s Sunderland blog.

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