Craig Gordon

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Craig Gordon
Craig S Gordon.jpg
Personal information
Full name Craig Anthony Gordon[1]
Date of birth (1982-12-31) 31 December 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Celtic
Number 26
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2007 Heart of Midlothian 139 (0)
2001–2002 Cowdenbeath (loan) 12 (0)
2007–2012 Sunderland 88 (0)
2014– Celtic 4 (0)
National team
2003–2005 Scotland B 2 (0)
2004– Scotland 40 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 September 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 November 2010

Craig Anthony Gordon (born 31 December 1982) is a Scottish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Celtic.

Gordon started his career with Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian (Hearts). After spending part of the 2001–02 season on loan to Scottish Second Division side Cowdenbeath, Gordon established himself in the Hearts first team in 2003 and helped the team win the 2005–06 Scottish Cup. He also became the regular goalkeeper for the Scotland national football team.

English Premier League club Sunderland bought Gordon in 2007 for £9 million,[2] which was a record fee paid by a British club for a goalkeeper. Gordon suffered serious injuries during his time with Sunderland and was released from his contract in 2012. After two years out of the professional game, Gordon signed for Celtic in July 2014.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Edinburgh, Gordon attended Balerno Community High School from 1994 until 1999. His father, David Gordon, played in goal for several East of Scotland clubs, and Gordon spent many Saturday afternoons as a child watching him play.[3] Gordon started off his own career as a goalkeeper at local team Currie Boys Football Club, and then went on to join and graduate from the Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) youth development programme.

Cowdenbeath (loan)[edit]

Gordon was loaned to lower league club Cowdenbeath in 2001. In his time there he continued to train regularly with Hearts, but spent two nights a week training with Cowdenbeath.[4] His first professional game was at Forthbank against Stirling Albion, and he went on to make a total of 13 appearances before being recalled by Hearts.[4][5] Cowdenbeath went undefeated in their home games during Gordon's time there,[4] and he won praise for an outstanding performance in an away league 3-1 win over Queen of the South. Queen of the South dominated the game, but Gordon's saves thwarted them time and again, with QOS manager John Connolly describing Gordon's performance as "sensational".[6]

Heart of Midlothian[edit]

Gordon made his debut for Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) in a 1–1 draw with Livingston on 6 October 2002.[7] His one other appearance that season was in a 4-0 defeat against Falkirk on 25 January 2013 in the third round of the Scottish Cup.[8] Over the course of the following season, 2003–04 season, he edged out Tepi Moilanen as the regular Hearts goalkeeper, playing in 29 of Hearts' league fixtures.[7][9] Gordon made his first appearance in European competition on 6 November 2003, playing in the first leg of Hearts' UEFA Cup second round tie in France against Bordeaux. He performed well and kept a clean sheet in an impressive 1-0 win for Hearts.[10] Despite that result, Heart lost the return leg 2-0 in Edinburgh to go out on aggregate.[11] His performances that year resulted in him being short-listed for the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award,[12] which was eventually won by then Celtic midfielder Stephen Pearson.[13]

Gordon celebrating with fellow Hearts teammates following his performance in Hearts' 2006 Scottish Cup victory

Gordon had become a Scotland regular by 2005 and his consistent displays during the 2005–06 season helped Hearts to a second place finish in the Scottish Premier League and victory in the Scottish Cup. The trophy was won in a penalty shootout against Gretna following a 1–1 draw, with Gordon saving opponent Gavin Skelton's penalty. That season he was voted Scottish Football Writers' Association Player of the Year, becoming the first Hearts player to win the award since Sandy Jardine in 1986 and also the first goalkeeper since Rangers' Andy Goram in 1993.[14]

For much of the 2006–07 season rumours linked Gordon with a move away from Tynecastle, particularly following his involvement in the issuing of a statement against club owner Vladimir Romanov. Gordon and Paul Hartley flanked captain Steven Pressley as he read out a statement claiming there was "significant unrest" in the Hearts dressing room.[15] The venue for this statement, Hearts' Riccarton training ground, led to the media dubbing the players the "Riccarton Three".[16] Rangers, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Manchester United were all credited with an interest in the player in late 2006. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger observed Gordon in action in Scotland's 1–0 victory against France in a Euro 2008 qualifying match.[17] He touted Gordon as having "presence and good handling and [he] looks a very good goalkeeper to me." Gordon confirmed his rising stock with a spectacular cross-goal save in the October 2006 Edinburgh derby[17] and the following month he was named as Hearts' new captain, replacing the departed Pressley. Despite Hearts' claims that he was ill, he was "dropped" to the bench for the game against Dundee United in December 2006 for what many believed to be a disciplinary measure by the club following his involvement in the "Riccarton Three" statement.[18] He was reinstated, however, for the Edinburgh derby match against Hibernian three days later. He was not listed in the squad to face Rangers on 27 January 2007, just four days before the closure of the transfer window, and it was confirmed by the club that they were negotiating his transfer.[19] Gordon, however, remained a Hearts player when the window closed.

In March 2007, Gordon expressed his interest in playing for Arsenal, after reports had cited that he was linked as a candidate to succeed the veteran Jens Lehmann as Arsenal's first-choice goalkeeper, stating "Arsenal is one of the top teams in Britain, in Europe, if not the world, so it is something that would definitely interest any player".[20] Hearts failure to qualify for European competition at the season's end further increased speculation that Gordon would be sold, with Sunderland and Aston Villa rumoured suitors in July 2007.[21] His appearance in Hearts 3–1 friendly defeat by Barcelona on 28 July[22] proved to be his last for the club. On 8 November, Gordon was inducted into the Hearts Hall of Fame. Still only 24, he was the youngest player ever to have that honour bestowed upon him.

Sunderland[edit]

In August 2007, Gordon agreed a five-year contract with Sunderland.[23] The £9 million fee was the highest a British club had ever paid for a goalkeeper,[24] until Manchester United paid around £17 million for David de Gea in 2011.[25] Gordon made his debut for Sunderland in the opening game of the 2007–08 Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur, keeping a clean sheet as his side won 1–0. During this match, the rival goalkeeper was Paul Robinson and the England first choice. It was the first time a Scotland first choice goalkeeper and an England first choice goalkeeper had faced each other in a club match since 2001, when Arsenal's David Seaman faced Tottenham's Neil Sullivan.

Following Sunderland's 7–1 loss to Everton in December, Sunderland manager Roy Keane dropped Gordon to the bench and Welsh goalkeeper Darren Ward took his place. However, Gordon regained his place as first choice goalkeeper three games later.[26] Midway through the 2008–09 season, Gordon was sidelined for several months with a knee injury and found himself as backup to Márton Fülöp. He regained his place in the starting eleven at the beginning of the 2009–10 season. On 7 November away at Tottenham Hotspur, he broke his arm after being deliberately kicked by Jermain Defoe[27] and was sidelined for nearly three months.[28] He returned on 23 January in a game against Portsmouth.[29]

During the summer of 2010, Gordon had surgery on his broken arm to remove a metal plate. He returned to training days later, but he fractured his arm again during a training session. It was confirmed he would miss the start of the 2010–11 Premier League campaign, with Sunderland's new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet deputising. When Gordon returned from injury, Mignolet remained the first choice goalkeeper. On 9 November 2010, Gordon made his first appearance of the season away at Tottenham Hotspur. The game ended in a 1–1 draw. Gordon also starred in Sunderland's 3–0 win over Chelsea. On 18 December 2010, Gordon made a stunning reflex save to deny Zat Knight in a 1–0 win against Bolton Wanderers.[30] In 2012, this effort was voted as the best save in the 20 year history of the Premier League.[30]

However, injury woes struck again for Gordon when he suffered a tendon injury in his knee, resulting in him being replaced by Mignolet.[31] Luckily for Gordon, the knee tendon problem allowed him to be the substitute goalkeeper, despite not being fully fit. On 19 April 2011, it was revealed that Gordon had undergone knee surgery to repair his knee tendon and an anterior cruciate ligament injury he had suffered.[32] However, the summer recruitment of Coventry City goalkeeper Keiren Westwood added further doubt about the Scotsman's future. Gordon was linked with Arsenal and Celtic amongst other clubs in August 2011.[33] He made his return on 4 January 2012 for the Sunderland Reserves keeping a clean sheet in their 2–0 victory over Arsenal Reserves. He returned to first team action on 28 April against Bolton Wanderers, but he was one of nine players released by Sunderland on 19 May 2012.[34]

Gordon did not sign with another club for two years, as he continued to be troubled by knee injuries.[35] After meeting Ian Murray while doing television work, Gordon helped Dumbarton with coaching work on a casual basis.[35] Gordon then admitted it was highly unlikely that he would play during 2012–13 and that he was considering becoming a football coach.[35] Gordon trained with Rangers during the 2013–14 season.[36][37] In March 2014, Gordon said that he had fully recovered from his injuries and was looking to resume his playing career.[37] In June, Celtic confirmed that Gordon had been training with them and that they were now in signing talks with him.[38]

Celtic[edit]

In July 2014, Gordon signed a two year contract with Celtic.[39] He made his first appearance for Celtic on 19 July 2014, playing in the first half of a pre-season friendly against Dynamo Dresden.[40][41] Gordon made several saves in his 45 minute appearance, and said afterwards "It was good to get back playing. From a personal point of view, it's been a long time out. So it was good to get out there and to play for 45 minutes and get a clean sheet in the first half. I have to be happy with that."[41]Fraser Forster was transferred to Southampton for a reported £10 million transfer fee in August,[42] clearing the way for Gordon to become first choice goalkeeper. Gordon made his first competitive appearance in over two years on 13 August 2014,[43] a 3-0 win against St. Johnstone.[44]

International career[edit]

Gordon made his debut for the Scotland under-21 team on 4 September 2002 at Hamilton in a 2-1 win against Israel.[45] Over the next year he played a further four times for the under 21 side.[46]

Gordon made his full international Scotland debut in a 4–1 victory against Trinidad and Tobago at Easter Road on 30 May 2004.[47] Scotland started their qualifying campaign for the 2006 World Cup on 8 September 2004 against Slovenia at Hampden Park. Gordon played in goal and kept a clean sheet, although Scotland were poor and struggled to a scoreless draw.[48] Having been given his debut by Berti Vogts, Gordon established himself as the Scotland first choice throughout the campaign and under Vogts' successor Walter Smith, playing in all ten of Scotland's qualifying ties.[49] BBC pundit and former player Allan Preston saw him as a potential Scottish great, describing him as "one of the best goalkeepers in Europe".[50] After a 1–1 draw with Italy Gordon drew praise from opponent Gianluigi Buffon, who said he could be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.[51] Gordon kept clean sheets as Scotland won 1–0 twice against France in UEFA Euro 2008 qualification. He won a total of 40 caps by November 2010, but his injury problems prevented him from adding to this total.[35]

Gordon was recalled to the Scotland squad in August 2014, soon after his comeback from injury.[52]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 13 September 2014[53][54]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000–01 Hearts Scottish Premier League - - - - -
2001–02 - - - - -
2001–02 Cowdenbeath (Loan) Second Division 12 0 - 1 0 - 13 0
2002–03 Hearts Scottish Premier League 1 0 1 0 - - 2 0
2003–04 30 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 36 0
2004–05 38 0 6 0 3 0 6 0 53 0
2005–06 36 0 5 0 2 0 - 43 0
2006–07 34 0 1 0 1 0 6 0 42 0
Hearts Total 139 0 15 0 8 0 14 0 176 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Sunderland Premier League 34 0 1 0 - - 35 0
2008–09 12 0 1 0 1 0 - 14 0
2009–10 26 0 1 0 3 0 - 30 0
2010–11 15 0 - - - 15 0
2011–12 1 0 - - - 1 0
Sunderland Total 88 0 3 0 4 0 0 0 95 0
2014–15 Celtic Scottish Premiership 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 6 0
Celtic Total 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 6 0
Career Total 243 0 18 0 13 0 16 0 290 0

Honours[edit]

Hearts[edit]

2006

Individual[edit]

Gordon won this award for his save against Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light on 18 December 2010. Following a goal from Danny Welbeck on 32 minutes, Gordon's save was made in first-half stoppage time from a corner headed into the six-yard box by Gary Cahill, with Zat Knight touching the ball goalwards from close-range. Gordon pulled off a superb one-handed reflex save to deny Knight.[30][55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ Daily Record. "Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon admits his sights are set on management after career-threatening knee injury". Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Grahame, Ewing (16 November 2007). "Craig Gordon: Dad inspired me". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Young, Colin (30 April 2010). "Craig Gordon: The Sunderland goalkeeper who can stop Manchester United... and he's in the form of his life". Mail Online. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Craig Gordon career playing details". Cowdenbeath-Mad. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Young, David (11 November 2001). "Gordon saves pals blushes; QOS 1 Cowdenbeath.3". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Hearts Hall of Fame". 2 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Mighty Falkirk stun Hearts - Falkirk 4 Hearts 0 (25 January 2003)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.londonhearts.com/scores/sea/2003-04.html#app
  10. ^ http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1719/match=73664/postmatch/report/index.html
  11. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/heart_of_midlothian/3239212.stm
  12. ^ "Parkhead players dominate player of the year shortlist". Herald Scotland. 19 April 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Buckingham, Mark. "Bhoys duo take player awards". Sky Sports. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Gordon voted player of the year". BBC Sport. 16 April 2006. 
  15. ^ "Romanov issues player ultimatum". BBC Sport. 27 October 2006. 
  16. ^ "Romanov brands Riccarton Three "traitors" in latest rant". Edinburgh Evening News. 23 February 2007. 
  17. ^ a b "Gordon backed as best in Britain". BBC Sport. 10 October 2006. 
  18. ^ "Craig Gordon dropped to Hearts' bench". BBC Sport. 23 December 2006. 
  19. ^ "Hearts may sell Gordon & Hartley". BBC Sport. 28 January 2007. 
  20. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (20 March 2007). "Puzzled Reyes dismisses Madrid rumours of a return to Sevilla". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  21. ^ "McLeish tells Gordon to grab 'chance of a lifetime". The Scotsman. 7 August 2007. 
  22. ^ White, Duncan (29 July 2007). "Barcelona too hot for Hearts". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Black Cats Sign Craig Gordon". Sky Sports. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  24. ^ "Sunderland's Craig Gordon sidelined by fractured arm". BBC Sport (BBC). 16 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  25. ^ Taylor, Daniel (24 May 2011). "Manchester United confirm signing of David de Gea from Atlético Madrid". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  26. ^ Stewart, Rob (9 May 2008). "Roy Keane hails 'untouchable' Craig Gordon". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  27. ^ "Gordon blames Defoe for injury". Morning Star. 13 November 2009. 
  28. ^ "Devastated Craig Gordon was close to peak form, insists Steve Bruce". The Scotsman. 20 November 2009. 
  29. ^ "Portsmouth 2 - 1 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 23 January 2010. 
  30. ^ a b c "Sunderland's Gordon wins Best Save Award". Premier League. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  31. ^ "Gordon on injury prognosis". 
  32. ^ "Gordon out for six months". Sky Sports. BSkyB. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  33. ^ "Gordon attracts Celtic interest". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Craig Gordon released by Sunderland as nine players leave". BBC Sport. BBC. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  35. ^ a b c d "Craig Gordon admits he 'may never play again'". sport.scotsman.com (Johnston Publishing). 11 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  36. ^ "Transfer news: Richard Foster hoping to see Craig Gordon at Rangers". Sky Sports. 26 June 2013. 
  37. ^ a b "Craig Gordon eyes Scotland return after prolonged injury lay-off". BBC Sport (BBC). 31 March 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  38. ^ McLauchlin, Brian (6 June 2014). "Craig Gordon: Celtic confirm signing talks with goalkeeper". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  39. ^ "Celtic sign Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon". BBC Sport (BBC). 3 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  40. ^ "Former Scotland keeper Craig Gordon makes Celtic debut in 1-1 draw against Dynamo Dresden". Herald Scotland. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  41. ^ a b McGill, John (25 July 2014). "Gordon: Celtic debut helped me clear mental barrier of playing again". Evening Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  42. ^ "England goalkeeper Fraser Forster moves from Celtic to Southampton for £10 million to boost Saints". The Telegraph. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  43. ^ Johnson, Kristian (13 August 2014). "Team News: Craig Gordon makes first competitive start in more than two years". SportsMiole. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  44. ^ "Scottish Premiership: Celtic open title defence with 3-0 win at St Johnstone". Sky Sports. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  45. ^ http://www.fitbastats.com/scotlandu21/game.php?gameid=146
  46. ^ http://www.fitbastats.com/scotlandu21/player.php?playerid=377
  47. ^ "Scotland 4–1 Trinidad". BBC News. 30 May 2004. 
  48. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/scotland/3629710.stm
  49. ^ http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/football_player_profile.cfm?page=2492&playerID=27947
  50. ^ "Gordon is the best keeper in Europe, claims Preston". Edinburgh Evening News. 6 August 2007. 
  51. ^ "Buffon backs "great" Gordon". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 16 November 2007. 
  52. ^ "Gordon Strachan calls up Callum McGregor and Craig Gordon". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  53. ^ "Craig Gordon Career Stats". Soccerbase. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  54. ^ "Stirling Albion 3-2 Cowdenbeath". BBC Sport. 12 September 2001. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  55. ^ "Sunderland 1–0 Bolton". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 December 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 

External links[edit]