Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given has paid tribute to Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who he describes as ‘remarkable’ in the Daily Mail.
Given has suggested that Gordon deserves huge credit for the way he dealt with injury problems, getting stuck into his role with Celtic to become arguably the best goalkeeper in Scotland.
He proved to be vital in a campaign where Ronny Deila won a domestic double in his first season with the Bhoys and has managed to maintain a position as part of the Scotland squad under Gordon Strachan.
“I'm sure a lot of people wrote Craig off — nobody would have expected him to come back at the level he has. He deserves great credit for the work-rate he had to produce even before he even pulled on his gloves again,” he said.
“It's a great testament to him and his mentality that he could come back at all. But to come back in Celtic's first team, pushing for the Scotland jersey and doing it in Europe? It's remarkable.”
Gordon is a vital component of the current Celtic side for a variety of reasons, predominantly because of the organisation and leadership he offers at the back of the team.
He’s very good in terms of spotting danger developing and getting the defenders in front of him, into positions where they can deal with the opposition effectively, which gives him less work to do in terms of making saves.
He had the hardship of his injury as inspiration last season and now has to work closely with the manager to find a way to develop and get better when the new season kicks off next month.
He has a key role to play because the back four is already changing with Dedryck Boyata coming into the squad but Deila knows that if Gordon plays well, Celtic quite often play well.