Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Unhappy Gordon Sits out Qualifier

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Unhappy Gordon Sits out Qualifier

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER

GEORGE Burley further undermined Ricky Sbragia's hopes of keeping goalkeeper Craig Gordon this summer, by leaving the 26-year-old out of Scotland's team to face Holland on Saturday, writes STUART RAYNER.

The former Roker Park full-back has opted for Allan McGregor in the World Cup qualifier, citing Gordon's lack of club football as the reason.

The match is crucial to Scotland's chances of playing in South Africa next summer, and Burley's choice of goalkeeper was always likely to have a huge bearing on the prospects of Gordon remaining at Sunderland next season.

Britain's most expensive goalkeeper has only played twice since injuring his ankle in October.

Burley and Gordon have both voiced their discomfort about the lack of opportunities afforded to the former Hibernian player in that time, but Black Cats manager Sbragia has stayed loyal to Marton Flop.

The Hungarian made a costly error in the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool earlier this month, but Sbragia resisted the temptation to drop him, arguing it would not be fair to oust him for an isolated incident merely to keep Gordon content.

Nevertheless, he claimed he was happy with both goalkeepers, and did not want either to leave in the summer. He even floated the possibility of rotating the pair in an attempt to give them both some first-team football, though he has not done so yet.

He also suggested the pair would start afresh in pre-season, with whoever performed best in that time starting 2009-10 as first choice.

But now Gordon's club situation is affecting his international career, it seems unlikely he will take the risk of holding Sbragia to his word.

Burley certainly left him in no doubt that was the reason for his latest omission. "There has been a lot of talk, a lot of speculation, people talking about the pros and cons of who to play," the Scotland boss acknowledged. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.