Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Possible end of a rotten season for Shay Given

Graham Fisher in Editorial, English Premier League 24 Feb 2011


Still a world class keeper

You have to feel really sorry for Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given. He is arguably amongst the best half dozen or so goalkeepers in the Premier League, yet as he approaches the last few seasons of his career he can’t get a game.


The Republic of Ireland stopper is now likely to be out of the game entirely for around three months following a recurrence of the shoulder injury that kept him out last season and probably led to him losing the number one jersey at City to Joe Hart.

Manager Roberto Mancini confirmed the bad news.

“He has the same injury he had last year and I think that he needs an operation. It’s a disappointment for us and him. We’ve lost a good goalkeeper. Last year we had the problem in the last three games because we lost him to injury and I hope this year it is not the same.”


When Given picked up the injury towards the end of last season it caused something of a keeper crisis at City as Joe Hart was on loan at Birmingham and couldn’t be recalled. City signed the now Ipswich goalkeeper Marton Fulop on an emergency loan to cover the last few games. Given recovered during the close season and there was huge speculation about whether Mancini would go with the experienced and proven Given or the exciting potential of Joe Hart when the season started. Hart was given the nod.

With Hart performing well, Given was confined to the substitutes bench. He remained there as Mancini showed faith in Hart even when his form took a slight dip. This has meant that Given hasn’t made a single appearance in the Premier League so far this season and may well miss the rest of it now. He will see a specialist who will confirm whether or not an operation is required.


Given has played just four games for City this season, the Carling Cup defeat at West Brom in September and three Europa League matches, with his last appearance in the 1-1 draw at Juventus on 16th December. If City continue to make progress in that competition Given will be desperate to return in time to play a part in the final which is being played in his native Dublin.

Shay Given has looked to be an increasingly unhappy and frustrated player over the past few months and is likely to be keen to get away from City as soon as he can. At his age it is no good to spend a season on the sidelines, especially when he still has so much to give.


Whilst City will only have to ensure that they have a suitable replacement for Given to sit on the substitutes bench, his injury is a massive blow to the Republic of Ireland. Their manager Giovanni Trapattoni said,

“Shay’s presence in the squad has always been extremely important and he will certainly be missed. That said, we have good options in Keiren Westwood and Joe Murphy.”


Whilst I admire Trapattoni’s faith in Westwood and Murphy, they are not in the same league as Given.

The injury may bring an end to what has been a horrible season for a man who is still a world class goalkeeper. Let’s hope that he makes a speedy and full recovery and gets back to playing first team football at the highest level as soon as possible.


Graham Fisher



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