Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughShay given chance to shine - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Shay given chance to shine - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Shay given chance to shine

Aston Villa have snapped up Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given for an undisclosed fee reported to be around £3.5million. Manager Alex McLeish signed him to replace Brad Friedel who moved to Tottenham. So is this good for Villa and Given?

Given is likely to be relishing this opportunity to play regular top flight football after Man City manager Roberto Mancini made England goalkeeper Joe Hart first choice for his team.

Villa defender and Republic of Ireland team-mate Richard Dunne is delighted at the prospect of being reunited with Given and told the Birmingham Mail: ‘He was frustrated over the way things have gone over the last year, I think he just wants to get playing again and he’ll be looking forward to it.

‘I spoke to him on Friday when he got here and I think he was surprised about how good the facilities and the setup are here at Bodymoor.

‘I think it’s a good opportunity for Shay to get back to playing football and I think it’s one he’s really looking forward to.’

Given is McLeish’s first signing for Villa and one that should prove invaluable for the club. He has already produced a fine display against Fulham to help secure a point at Craven Cottage on the opening day of the season.

He managed to deny striker Bobby Zamora twice; once from close range and a second time with his legs.

The former Birmingham manager also believes his new goalkeeper will be an asset to the team he said: ‘Shay has come here with something of a point to prove and that won’t do him any harm at all.

‘Everybody who has watched him perform over many years in the Premier League will know his pedigree so we believe we have secured the services of one of the best goalkeepers in the business.’

A goalkeeper of Given’s calibre should not be one who warms the bench. Football fans and players (with the exception of frustrated strikers of course) alike will want to see his kind of talent out on the field.

After Friedel’s departure it was important that Villa find a replacement with similar, if not better ability, and they found this in Shay Given.

The Villains have managed to grab a formidable keeper who still has a few years left in his career for an absolute bargain. The club should be delighted with their new signing.

James Harris

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