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Archive for tag: Shay Given.

Magical Magpie legends: Shay Given (part three)

June 24th, 2011 | 7 Comments |

Shay says goodbye.
Shay says goodbye.
<< Part two.

Moving on from part two, it’s now time for the final chapter in the trilogy of articles I have written profiling Shay Given’s time at Newcastle United. Hopefully, it will end on a high and not be resurrected with a 4th instalment some 20 years into the future (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull anyone?)

Newcastle began the 2005-2006 season by failing to qualify for the UEFA Cup via the Intertoto after failing to progress past Spanish side Deportivo La Coruña. Newcastle’s league campaign didn’t go to well either resulting in Souness getting the sack in February, and Glenn Roeder taking charge in a caretaker capacity to the end of the season. Roeder’s instalment helped propel United up the league and eventually finish in 7th position, meaning that we got another chance in the Intertoto the following season. Shay played every Premier League match and his excellent form saw him named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2nd time in his United career.

“Shay is so like Gordon Banks, he’s not the tallest keeper but makes up for his lack of height with incredibly fast feet. They make his reaction times, for example from close range headers, quite remarkable. Possibly the best I’ve seen. And in terms of his all-round game, what I’ve seen of him in the last 18 months or so has been phenomenal. His development has staggered me. He’s now displaying a palpable all-round knowledge of his art. His positioning is impeccable and his consistency is remarkable” – Former Arsenal legend and goalkeeping coach Bob Wilson on Shay Given. (more…)


Magical Magpie legends: Shay Given (part two)

June 22nd, 2011 | 49 Comments |

Shay Given v Feyenoord - 2002.
Shay celebrates our 3-2 win at Feyenoord.
<< Part onePart three >>.

Part two: Shay celebrates his 300th game!

As Given’s first 5 years at Newcastle came to an end, the 2002-2003 season began with United qualifying for the Champion’s League first group stage after a comfortable 5-0 aggregate win over Bosnia and Herzegovina’s FK Željezničar.

At the season’s start, Sir Bobby Robson had decided that he was going to alternate Given with Steve Harper for our European matches, a decision which did not bode to well with the Irishman:

“Personally I’m not adjusting very well to being in and out every week, I’d rather play in every game. But I’m not the manager and I don’t pick the team. It’s his decision, but I was very disappointed when I first found out. Hopefully he won’t do it too often. I don’t think you can keep alternating between the keepers for very long, but I don’t know what will happen. (more…)


Magical Magpie legends: Shay Given (part one)

June 20th, 2011 | 96 Comments |

Shay Given - Greatest ever Toon 'keeper?
Greatest ever Toon 'keeper?
Part two >>

Moving on from my previous article on Gary Speed, it is now time to profile another ex Newcastle United legend from the past decade. This time focusing on current Manchester City and Ireland international goalkeeper, Shay Given.

Born April 20th 1976 in Lifford, County Donegal, Ireland, Shay started his career at his boyhood club, Celtic, before moving onto Blackburn Rovers. Whilst at Blackburn he spent loan spells at Swindon Town and Sunderland. It was at Sunderland where Shay won his first trophy, picking up the Football League Championship in 1996, this was also the same year he won his first cap for Ireland, in a friendly match against Russia at Lansdowne Road.

He joined Newcastle United In the summer of 1997, signed by former Magpie’s manager Kenny Dalglish for £1.5 million from Blackburn Rovers. This was the second time Dalglish had signed Given, previously signing him for Blackburn from Celtic in the summer of 1994. Demonstrating his athletic nature and sharp reflexes, Shay spent a total of 12 excellent seasons on Tyneside. In my opinion, he was the best ‘keeper Newcastle have ever had, certainly in my lifetime so far anyway, and one of the best shot stoppers the Premier League has ever had.

His outstanding shot stopping ability was evident from the moment he first featured for us, in a pre-season competition ‘The Irish Tournament’ at the start of the 1997-1998 season. United subsquently won the tournament (anybody else remember Rob Lee shaking the trophy over his head like a mad man?) and as an impressionable 12 year old boy, I remember thinking, not only about how much are new green ‘keepers top looked like a Crocodile / Human hybrid skin shedding, but also that we potentially had got ourselves a great player. I also remember really wanting a pair of Adidas ‘Fingersave’ gloves like Given’s and how I would be able to convince my parents to get me a pair! (more…)


England’s No.1?

January 3rd, 2010 | 33 Comments |

Hoping for a bigger trophy?
Hoping for a bigger trophy?
According to his column in the Mail on Sunday, Gary Lineker reckons Newcastle’s very own Steve Harper can be the next Steve Bull. Well not quite, but he does believe that Fabio Capello should cast an eye to the Championship doldrums, if he’s worried about his World Cup custodian as he faces a dearth in quality goalkeeprs.

While there have been other examples, Sir Bobby Robson notably selected Steve Bull to represent England in the 1990 World Cup despite him playing in the second flight at the time. And Lineker believes that Capello would do well to follow the example of not ignoring those outside the Premiership, provided they’re capable enough.

Lineker wrote:

“I wonder if Fabio Capello might take a leaf out of Bobby Robson’s book by casting his eye over a player who is excelling in the Championship while rivals are floundering in the Premier League.

“Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper has been one of the main reasons his side are heading back to the top flight.

“Finding goalkeepers is a world problem because of the way the game has changed, particularly in the movement of the ball. (more…)