Since Scott Bain joined Celtic all of his performances have been close to flawless. So when Brendan decided to replace Gordon with Bain and the turn of the new year may have seemed like a big call, but it could also be seen as one that was due to come.
In our game against Rangers on the 29th of January, Craig Gordon made a lot of good saves to keep us in the game, but a lot of those were due to his poor distribution by giving the ball straight back to the opposition leading to more attacks on our goal. For Gordon, this has been a problem for a while.
When Scott Bain has had his chance in goal this season, it seems that there is more of a calmness with both the fans in the stands and the defence in front of him. This makes the way we want to play football so much easier to play and watch without that panic, every time the goalkeeper receives the ball under slight pressure.
For a goalkeeper, of course, the most important thing is keeping the ball out the back of the net. There aren’t much better in Scotland at doing that than Craig Gordon to give him credit where it’s due; but Scott Bain has shown that he can also make important save in a game in the 3-2 victory over Rangers and making FIVE big saves at an important point in the latest Scottish Cup tie against Airdrie. It could be argued that Bain has looked impressive in these games, as he usually plays against lower opposition and hasn’t really been tested yet but it’s hard to argue with 13 clean sheets in 18 games played.
For now, I think most fans are more than happy to see Scott Bain continue his impressive form as number one. It will be interesting to see if Brendan sticks with Bain in the European games, like Valencia to see how he copes under the different pressures or whether he goes back to the tried and test, experienced Craig Gordon who has dealt well with these occasions many times already.
Bain’s acid test would certainly be the biggest challenge yet of his Celtic career.