Spurs was the ideal test for Craig Gordon’s triumphant return

There was a moment in the second half when Craig Gordon clinched my vote.

Despite great admiration for the way Simon Mignolet has performed, and without the slightest doubt that he has a potentially wonderful future which I hope will be with us, I regard Gordon as Sunderland’s No 1 keeper.

* Both images from our old friend

The incident I recall was over in a flash, The ball was travelling head height, straight at Gordon but hard and with a Spurs forward’s head inches away. The assurance with which the keeper caught it somehow trumped, for me, the string of saves he had to produce in the first half.

Even the mild criticism I made of his role in the Tottenham goal is tempered by the belief that he can hardly be faulted for seeing the immediate danger as the aerial power of the lurking Crouch.

In all, it was a highly successful return to the Sunderland starting team, fittingly at the ground where last season he suffered a bad injury from a lunge from Defoe that ought to have been punished but wasn’t.

So I am pleased to read Steve Bruce’s comments to the official SAFC site:

“He’s been knocking on my door. He is the number one goalkeeper.

But the one thing I didn’t want to do was take Simon out of the team having had five goals past him.

We’ve tried to protect him a little bit. Craig proved again at Spurs that he’s a very, very good goalkeeper.”

I hope Mignolet can live with the disappointment and draw strength from the fact that Bruce, taking his remarks at face value, clearly does not hold him to blame for events at St James’ Park. And, with an eye to recent speculation, I hope with equal fervour that Craig is not even thinking of himself as being in the shop window.

Monsieur Salut

6 thoughts on “Spurs was the ideal test for Craig Gordon’s triumphant return”

  1. I just saw the recording of the game last night. My immediate reaction having no knowledge of the booking was ‘that’s a hell of a tackle,’ and it was. Clatter ’em all was unlucky because his foot bouned off the top of the ball and carried though to connect with Modric. That isn’t a booking. To be fair to Webb who was behind Catts it probably looked as if he’d gone over the ball. The fact that the ball was moving in the ‘right direction’ might have suggested to the referee that Catts had made contact with the ball first.

    Keith; your take on the non penalty is exactly the same as mine. Bentley was already on the way down when Zenden slid in to challenge him and being a crafty and experienced pro he pulled his feet out to demonstrate that there was no contact. Webb wasn’t fooled by Bentley. Had Bentley stayed on his feet and not taken the dive he would possibly have been taken down by Zenden or at least would have had a better chance of conning the ref into believing that it was a foul. It was good refereeing and great to see the man with the whistle standing up to the nonsense in front of him like that. I’m starting to admire Mr Webb.

    Dead right about Carroll anarl Keith!

  2. Goalkeeper have a longer career than out field players and Mignolet will have is day but for the moment Gorden is number one and we have learnt our back up is a worthy replacement. The issues raised about the so called penalty/dive issue and Catts tackle are deflecting issues. Catts went for the ball got most of it and despite what Moderic said he wasn’t hurt. Vav der Vaardt on the other hand attacked Catts ferousiously and raised his hands and actually struck him, if that had been Moderic he would have hit the ground as if he had been polaxed, and the player sent off, treat others as they say. Bently was diving before Zenden was there and as Zenden withdrew his legs Bentley hit him. This was not a pen and Webb who is considered the best ref in the world knew it wasn’t. Dermott Gallagher who was at best mediocre should rather keep his comments to himself he does referreeing a disservice. Barton what a nutter Caroll and Nolan are cut from the same cloth it will all end in tears

  3. I’m with Malcolm. Gordon is substantially more assured, especially when it comes to crosses. SM has done fantastically well and has bucket loads of potential, but it would be a matter of time before teams start taking advantage of his inability to deal confidently with the ball when it’s lobbed into the box.

    I note Harry and crew didn’t mention V De V’s hand-ball when they scored. He also skilfully side-stepped Bale’s hand-ball in the wall right at the end. Decisions balanced out if you ask me!

  4. It’s good that we have two players of quality competing for the starting place between the sticks. Mignolet has done us proud but Gordon has to be the first choice based on experience and past form.

    It is interesting I think, that Modric is deflecting criticism away from a couple of incidents that may have received more publicity than they have had with his attack on Cattermole – namely the bad defending that let Gyan in and the clear handball that could have ruled out the Spurs goal. Not to mention the dive that merited a yellow card in my opinion.

    I only saw the highlights on Sky but it seems pretty clear that Catts won the ball and had the contact been an inch or two lower, his foot would not have rolled over the ball and into Modric’s leg. There didn’t appear to be any intent there other than to win the ball and had it been a fraction lower would have been perfect. Salut makes a good point that the media, Modric and Harry Redknapp overlook when remembering Defoe’s follow through on Gordon. He could have pulled out and he caused a serious injury. I have criticised our captain for acts of stupidity but this time I don’t feel that he did anything that merits the comments that are coming is way.

    Having said all that I am not too upset that the Spurs goal was given. We have had the rub of the green recently, just as we have had things go against us. A good point gained.

  5. the way Gordon was playing at the end of last season was magnificent. SM could not have kept him out.
    SM has played well and done us proud. He certainly is a goalie of the future. Whent he big boys come knocking for Gordon (Arsenal etc) then we can let him go, cash in and bring SM in.
    Until then CG is our no.1. If he reproduces last seasons form, we’re in for a good’un.

  6. I certainly don’t blame Simon Mignolet for any of the goals that we conceded at SJP. At the same time I take issue with Bruce for dropping the lad after keeping yet another clean sheet. How many is this compared to Gordon’s record in recent seasons. SM is a young lad with a great future ahead of him. As it turned out it isn’t as far into the future as he may have expected 6 months ago.

    For me, he is going to become the best goalkeeper that we’ve ever seen at Sunderland. I really think that he’s that good. There are some aspects of his game which need to be improved but there’s not a great deal of work needed. He flaps at and comes for crosses which he shouldn’t but that will be corrected sooner, rather than later. Gordon was playing fantastically well until he got injured, but frankly I think he’s lucky to be back in the team, and he didn’t keep a clean sheet either!

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