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Premiership Player Profile – Shay Given

14 December 2009 by gavh

This week is a goalkeeper special week, where I and fellow blogger 5stars features two of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League. Next week we will both be taking a break from the Profiles as Christmas emerges. Please enjoy this feature on Shay Given…

Throughout his Premier League career Shay Given has grown in stature, from a legend of Newcastle United where he made over 350 appearances for the Magpies, to probably the best Manchester City signing in recent years. Given has always been one of my favourite goalkeepers in the Premier League, and one of the best all round goalkeepers the top flight has ever produced. This season has seen Given being touted as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League after fine all round displays, most notably in the 2-1 win over Chelsea a couple of weeks back.

With Man City wanting to spend big on world class players, the club has been linked with the likes of Buffon and Casillas but why does the club want goalkeepers like that, when Given is probably more capable to do the job than both of them put together. Like I mentioned above Given has been incredibly impressive for Man City this season, from his save at Old Trafford from a Berbatov header, to making his 400th league appearance against Aston Villa. This season Shay Given has been able to keep six clean sheets in all competitions. In Man City’s first four games of the season Given didn’t let any goals in as Man City defeated Blackburn 2-0, Wolves 1-0, Crystal Palace 2-0 and Portsmouth 1-0. One of Given’s most impressive matches so far this season came against Birmingham, where a string of excellent saves in the match and a last gasp penalty save from a resulting James McFadden spot kick resulted the game to a 0-0 draw. The Irish international has also kept a clean sheet against Arsenal in the Carling Cup. If it wasn’t for Shay Given, Man City would have lost many more matches than they did in the first half of this season.

Moving onto the International scene, Given has established himself as Ireland’s number one keeper and also an Ireland legend. Since making his first appearance for Ireland in 1996, Shay Given has been capped 102 times for the Republic of Ireland making him the joint most capped player for the International team. Given has played in the best international tournament of them all, the World Cup. The year 2002 was a memorable year for Ireland fans as they progressed into the second round of the World Cup, but were defeated by Spain in that round in a nerve racking penalty shoot-out. This year saw Given claim his 100th cap against Montenegro at Croke Park, also that game saw the Man City goalkeeper keep a clean sheet. However the Qualifying game against France will never be laid to rest. Impressive performances by Shay Given and the Republic of Ireland team as a whole were cheated in the 2nd leg by the hand of Thierry Henry. Shay Given protest was extraordinary as he burst out complaining about the incident to the referee. As the picture below shows what an agonizing, painful, heart breaking night it was for the Ireland team. Overall Shay Given is a footballing legend and will always be one of the best goalkeepers ever to grace the Premier League.

Wednesday Premier League Player Profile – Petr Cech(by 5stars)

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