As Scotland get set to play Israel, the Rangers number one takes the gloves. The usual debate over Allan McGregor and Craig Gordon hasn’t been quite as prominent whilst the Celtic keeper is ruled out with a knee injury.
But even if the Celtic number one was fit, this isn’t even a debate at all.
Allan McGregor is the better goalkeeper in the battle against Gordon. And that’s not going to change any time soon.
Allan McGregor takes jersey on goalkeeping ability
It’s crazy to think that under a decade ago McGregor looked like he had no Scotland future. In 2009, the Scottish Football Association took the unprecedented step of banning McGregor and Barry Ferguson after gesturing to cameras in a World Cup Qualifier against Iceland. It followed them being dropped for a boozy bust up at Cameron House.
Ferguson would never play for Scotland again, but McGregor would.
In the space of time between then and now, he’s also established himself as the country’s number one.
Whilst most fans won’t disagree that Gordon is a decent goalkeeper, McGregor is undoubtedly the finest in the land.
He’s a commanding presence in the box. He is a superb shot stopper. He’s a leader, he’s combative and he very rarely makes mistakes. The 6ft stopper is also notoriously calm under pressure.
Give Gordon his dues, there are fewer better shot stoppers around and the Celtic goalkeeper can show up in big games.
But he lacks the presence, concentration, consistency and leadership of McGregor.
At 36, the Rangers goalie has a year on Gordon. But it’s not like the stopper shows any signs of slowing down.
Tonight, there will be no debate over who grabs the gloves as Scotland take on Israel. But even when Craig Gordon is fit, there shouldn’t be anyway.
Allan McGregor isn’t just the best goalkeeper in the Scotland squad, he’s one of most important players in there too.