When Will They Realise He's Great?
Lando78 sent us the following. To visit his blog and to read the article in full, click here.
Listening to commentators and players during and after the game on Sunday you'd be forgiven for thinking that Shay Given is a new kid on the block.
The way that they have all been falling over themselves it would seem that they all had previous doubts about his ability but now feel the need to back track with, 'I knew all along quotes' such as, 'You know what Given is a magnificent keeper,' and 'He's PROBABLY up there with the best' shows there' still an inkling of doubt at the back of there minds.
So lets set the record straight. Every time City play badly (or the other team just play better) there is but one man who bails them out. The unassuming Irishman only signed in January has saved the Blues on so many occasions he must be wondering why he's not been given a super hero nickname.
For example, the Birmingham City game is the most recent with a raft of saves and an all important penalty stop which helped City move into the Champions' League places.
When will people realise that this keeper is a special player and undoubtedly world class. He spent a decade at Newcastle producing the same performances week after week and when he eventually left amidst the Ashley farce guess what happened? They were relegated.
So who is better than Given. If we look at the upper echelons of the goalkeeping charts the same names come up time and time again.
In the Premier League, Edwin Van Der Sar's powers are waning and Czech makes errors at key moments for club and country. Reina at Liverpool is a similar keeper to Given but has done the business as long as the Irishman.
In Seria A, previous world number one Dida at Ac Milan has had a torrid time of late producing below par performances and high profile errors (even as I type this he is at fault for Benzema's goal as with the last match).
Casillas of Madrid and Buffon of Juventus are widely regarded as the top two, but Buffon's powers are also on the downward spiral and Casillas has not been in sparkling form of late making costly mistakes in key games for Madrid.
Given being the man he is will never say that he is up there with the elite. In fact, recently when asked the question he replied, 'Casillas and Buffon.'
A modest gentleman of the game with a century of international caps the Irish man is without doubt the most important signing of Hughes' career to date. Without him, Hughes might just have been on his way out and knows exactly that.
So enough of the patronising commentators, managers and players alike we fans know the truth. Given is God ...sorry is as good a keeper as there is. If there's a more consistent player in world football then let's sign him up in January. Try signing him for under ten million too!