Monday, February 02, 2009

Deadline day round up - it's a Given

Manchester City FC are delighted to announce the signing of
Shay Given from Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee.
The 32-year-old
goalkeeper has put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year contract, and he moves
back to the north-west where he started his Premier League career with Blackburn
Rovers in 1994.


I know this one went through yesterday evening but I was struggling to get anything posted up last night.

Not a surprise given he arrived for his medical yesterday morning and Hughes gets the goalkeeper that he wanted to bring in:

"I have said for a long time that we need the
experience of a keeper like Shay. I am delighted that we have been able to
acquire such an accomplished keeper, and one is so highly regarded by everyone
in the Premier League.
"We are getting a very good keeper, and the
experience he has will help the two outstanding young keepers that we have here
in Joe and Kasper. I am looking for them all to grow as a group, and it's
important that we have that influence of a senior keeper."

Given himself was enthusing about the move, echoing some of the sentiments Craig Bellamy spoke about upon his signing:
“I have two young kids, I had just moved house in
Newcastle and there were a few things that could have made me stay there. I have
a lot of friends there, and the supporters there are fantastic. They have been
great to me for so many years, and I thank them for that. But I just felt that
this was an opportunity for me to come to a club that in my opinion are really
going to be going places.
“I am even really excited to be going training on
Monday, it's a new chapter in my life and one I am looking forward to.
profile of the Club has changed dramatically, and there are already some
fantastic players here. It looks like some good players will come here in the
future as well, and I am sure the fans must be on the edge of their seats to see
who comes here. There is already the nucleus of a very good team here, and I
hope I can add to that. I am just delighted that they have chosen me to
strengthen their goalkeeping department as well.”

I've written about the arrival of Given in the lead up to his signing, and whilst he is undoubtedly a top class goalkeeper, I do wonder about the value of his signing.

I don't believe he is that much of an upgrade over Hart to justify consigning Hart to what could amount to 4 or 5 seasons on the bench (or even out of the club). Whilst with outfield players, different formations, tactics and resting are a common part of the game, it doesn't happen with 'keepers.

At best, Hart is now looking at half a dozen or so games a season, as clearly Given has not arrived to battle for the number 1 jersey. Far more preferable for me would have been to bring an experienced, veteran number 2 guy to push Hart (we can assume Kasper Schmeichel is now out of the picture) and challenge him to keep improving.

The ethos is of course though win now, and perhaps Hughes feels that Hart is still some way off being a top flight keeper and that Given can be the type of keeper who can win us points (in the way that David James used to) that, it has to be said, are so badly needed at the moment.

vote it up!

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