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Nothing To Prove
Given joins Aston Villa on five year deal
Posted Jul 20, 2011 by Chris White
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New Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has made his first signing since moving to the Villa Park hot seat, bringing in Shay Given as a replacement for Brad Friedel, who joined Tottenham earlier this summer.
The 35-year old stopper is still regarded as one of the best in the business and will be looking to reignite a career that stalled at an unfortunate time at Eastlands. Given was replaced as the Manchester City number one by Joe Hart who enjoyed a successful loan spell – under McLeish – at Birmingham, before returning to Manchester and taking the gloves away from the Irishman.
Given is a great signing for Villa, and moves to Villa Park with proven Premiership, and international, pedigree. He is the Republic of Ireland’s most capped player, having represented his country 113 times, and he has made over 400 appearances in the Premier League, the majority of which came in another personally successful spell at Newcastle.
He is a goalkeeper who deserves to have played at a much higher level, having never played for one of the ‘big four’, and when he made the move to Manchester City he made a huge impact in his first season between the posts. However, he spent the majority of last season on the bench and at 35, he cannot afford to be doing that.
There will be people out there who say “Given has a point to prove” to the likes of Roberto Mancini, but what a load of rubbish that is. Shay Given has nothing to prove to anyone. He has proved all there is to prove. He is, and always has been, a world-class goalkeeper who was unlucky not to be snapped up by one of the really big clubs, and I’m sorry Manchester City fans, but that doesn’t include you. He was always perfectly good enough to play in the Champions League and found himself playing UEFA Cup at best and second fiddle to a younger prospect, which you can sort of understand in today’s game, and Hart has become England number one. But he was too good to be on the bench at City.
Shay Given has nothing to prove to anyone. He just needs to play his own game between the sticks for Villa and try and end what has been a fantastic career at the top, rather than sitting on the bench at Manchester City like several others have, and will do.