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...