Manchester City - Do We Have A Problem, Shay?
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Do We Have A Problem, Shay?

As City news begins to go into overdrive, Blues 'keeper Shay Given makes profoundly disappointing comments to the media. The timing of which couldn't be worse...

Throughout his career, Seamus Given isn't the type of player that the seasoned football fan would associate with any form of hissy fit strop. Far from it.

Yet, a handful of days before Manchester City's most eagerly anticipated season in decades, the widely admired Irishman has chosen his moment to talk about considering his options should Joe Hart, England's hottest young goalkeeping prospect in many years be given the nod by Roberto Mancini ahead of Shay for The Citizens crucial opening day clash at Spurs:

'I haven't joined Manchester City to sit on the bench. I've gone there to play. It's an ambitious club and I'm an ambitious person. I haven't gone there to take it easy and put my feet up. I'm desperate to play on Saturday. If that's not the case then I'll have to speak to the club next week and decide what the next step is.'

An astonishing statement from the 34 year old, which has left many Blues extremely concerned that an apparantly well settled, well looked after senior player should feel compelled to make.

The emerging and strongly tipped for greatness Joe Hart is at the crux of Shay's problem. Birmingham City benefitted from a season long loan of Harty last season but Mancio made it clear that for the coming campaign, he wants two top class players in each position and between the sticks was to be no exception.

Given went on to talk of the 22 year old's situation alongside himself before then suggesting he'd be open to going out on loan:

'We're both capable of playing in the Premier League and we've proved that. It's a specialist position and you can only play the one player so it's not ideal for either of us, whoever doesn't play I suppose. Joe did well last year and deserves great credit for that but I'd like to think I did okay myself at Manchester City. If I wasn't to play...then possibly a loan thing or something...just to get games really, to get playing because that's why you play football. You just want to play in every game.'

This correspondent finds these words incredulous in the context of the timing, the performances Shay refers to and what the club is in position to achieve.

Though a great admirer, I am not alone in the belief that Shay didn't play all that well in the second half of the season. Rumoured new captain Vincent Kompany was the man who steadied the City defence at crucial times.

But what really grates is the fact that Shay has been so warmly welcomed in to the City family and yet is prepared to jump ship at the first sign of some competition which surely a top player needs in order to maintain the highest standards.

There's no talk of looking to help bring young Harty on, merely that he is seen as a rival. Very, very disappointing.

But a word of warning to the man in green. Mancio has no truck with top players ego's.

His track record proves it. Robinho the substitute humiliatingly substituted and complaints about double training sessions rewarded with a steep running hill constructed at Carrington.

Shay, I urge you to retract these comments as I fear you could be up the road.

In other news, Mancio's Squad continues to take shape, with respect to Andy Smith and The Manchester Guardian...

More VMC news on this intriguing week of transfer activity as we get it...

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 10 2010

Time: 2:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Nothing wrong with that. He knows that whoever plays on Saturday is Mancini's first choice and with his quality he could play for most teams in the league so why would he be happy to sit on the bench. He's not getting any younger! Wouldn't be surprised if Arsenal moved for him!
Vanilla Ice
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10/08/2010 14:12:00

Hart made similar comments on ESPN post Valencia game. I can fully understand both players position, at the age Shay is now he needs to be playing regular to stay sharp. Joe on the other hand needs regular football to make the England no.1 shirt his own.
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10/08/2010 14:29:00

"Young Harty" The writer is obviously biased towards the young England whipper snapper. The truth is though, that young harty isn't in the same league as Shay given. Young Shay had an outstanding season last year
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10/08/2010 14:35:00

I don't recall Joe threatening to do one, tbh. The way I see it we need two top drawer keepers who can rotate through what will be a long season. If Shay's history of shoulder problem repeats again, then what? I feel that as the senior player Shay should've been more diplomatic.
Johnny Baguette
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10/08/2010 14:38:00

Be terrible if I called Seamus Old Shay, eh? lol!
Johnny Baguette
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10/08/2010 14:45:00

Lets play Shay in PL matches(38 games) and Hart in the FA Cup, Carling Cup and Europa League(about 30+ games), or vice versa, if one gets injured, the other gets all the games, problem solved.
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10/08/2010 15:03:00

I reckon he will retain his place. I think Hart could do with one more season learning the ropes, then I think he will be ready to step up. Given is a great keeper and his consistency puts him amongst the best in Europe. His command of the area is his weakness, but with so many tall players - this shouldnt be our achilles heel this season.
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10/08/2010 15:08:00

I have to agree with the article. Yes Shay needs to play, but the method of how he's gone about this is deplorable and I'm disgusted he's brought it out to the media. IMO he's not so good he's irreplaceable and he's clearly trying it on. Bobby Manc should call his bluff, if he then wants to move on, so be it, problem solved. It'd be a shame as I think Hart can still learn a bit from him and on balance Given probably edges it on his experience alone. However I believe Hart will become a much better all-round 'keeper in a short time, so we need to protect him at all costs.
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10/08/2010 15:31:00

Hart will never be as good as Given was/is, but I do think he will be a great keeper for years to come. It would be a shame if Shay left but he'd have no problem finding another club!
Vanilla Ice
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10/08/2010 16:25:00

Vanilla - how do you know he won't be as good?
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10/08/2010 16:47:00

who is the better Goalie?
Buzz Lightyear
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10/08/2010 17:26:00

Given is better,Hart is being overrated because he's English,he still has a long way to go yet.
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10/08/2010 17:52:00

I for one has never seen top teams rotate goal keepers. It would spoil the consistency. I don see cech ,VDS , reina or gomes rotated (except for carling cup). If hart is first choice, then given might become a carling cup keeper.
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10/08/2010 17:59:00

Cause I can see the future... and cause Given is Irish (just like us Bluedub). You should know that means he is better than any other keeper in the world :)
Vanilla Ice
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10/08/2010 18:00:00

Hart is too young. English media portrays him as Young Iker. Will need to see how he handles the pressure of a title challenging team? Foster was also a good goalie but he goes nuts in pressure.. Can he recover after making a howler? Think before choosing side guys. I think Given is still way ahead.
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10/08/2010 18:05:00

Vanilla - I try to keep patriotism out of my mind when it comes to club, otherwise it clouds your judgement. Redfalcon, that is my biggest worry when it comes to Hart, that his inexperience will count against him when the pressure is on, Hart has the potential to be City and England number one for years to come and so should be protected. Shay's shoulder injury could come back to haunt him and Hart will get his chance. I don't want to see him suffer the same fate as Foster, Carson etc.
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10/08/2010 20:04:00

I agree with your article JB. If Shay feels this way then he should at least have kept it between himself and the club and not gone out to the media and said he'd be leaving if he's not playing this saturday...How childish is that? I'm really disappointed about his attitude and does not bear well for the future...Why is it that these goalkeepers of ours feel entitled not to have to be rotated, like any of the other squad members? He's not exactly leading by example is he? what if everybody not playing on saturday would start acting this way?
Blue ponderer
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10/08/2010 20:47:00

I suspect Shay has seen the writing on the wall and is aware that Hart is Mancini's first choice keeper. The outburst was to alert other clubs to his availability and to force the manager's hand. It will backfire, and Shay will find himself on the bench against Tottenham - if we haven't sold him before then. P.S. NO LOAN DEALS. You want him you buy him.
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10/08/2010 22:06:00

There is no way players will not complain this season. This is just the begining. Adebayor, Robinho, De Jong will all complain if they are not getting games. You cannot have 20 players that are starters for their country.
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10/08/2010 22:07:00


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