Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Given to stay

The big deadline day news - other than Robinho's imminent loan move to AC Milan - is that Shay Given has decided to stay at City rather than join Fulham on loan. Daniel Taylor reports:
Given has based his decision on the fact he joined City in the hope that he could win the first trophy of his career and that, by leaving for a smaller club, he could effectively be passing over that chance. He had also worried that he might jeopardise his place in the Republic of Ireland team but the manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, has assured him that is not the case.

City are involved in four competitions and Given was assured the club are taking them all seriously and that, at the very least, there will be opportunities for him to play in the Carling Cup and Europa League Mancini, who described him as being among Europe's five best goalkeepers last season, has made it clear he does not want to lose him.
I suppose I'm pleased that he's staying. If Joe Hart gets injured or suspended we stand a much better chance of success with Given stepping up than with Stuart Taylor. But I'm not too enthusiastic with the sort of job-share scheme mentioned in the report. There are situations where a division of labour makes sense, particularly if we were trying to phase out a veteran for a young 'keeper: the Edwin van der Sar / Tomasz Kuszczak situation is perfect. But this is very different. We are not trying to phase out an older keeper for a new one, quite the opposite.

Moreover, once we have chosen Joe Hart as our number one, to play someone else in the League Cup or the Europa League is to necessarily diminish our chances of success. Given how important winning just one knock-out trophy this year would be to the club it makes little sense to pick a back up for these games.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Good news - but I agree, I'm not so keen on the job share aspect.

On a separate note, not one for speculation and I also think we've spent more than enough this summer, but I understand that Wesley Sneijder has been seen in Manchester today. I know he's been linked throughout the summer with United but wouldn't it be great if we pulled this one off. It'd be especially pleasing if we shipped the other last minute deal (Robihno) out of the door at the same time...

Adam said...

You write: "once we have chosen Joe Hart as our number one, to play someone else in the League Cup or the Europa League is to necessarily diminish our chances of success."

I have to object to that argument. It implies that if Joe Hart is our number 1 then he must be better than Shay Given. Actually, I think once you take into account Given's experience, there isn't much between them at all. The reason why Hart is playing is probably for longevity's sake and also because he is a much more valuable asset (his value will appreciate whilst Given's can only really go the other way).

So by playing Given in a few games, I don't think we are really any worse off in terms of quality. If anything, we're in a stronger position, because even the best 'keepers go through bad patches. It has happened to Reina, Cech and Van der Saar, but none of those teams have had anyone near as good as Shay to step in.