Why this ex-Manchester City star Should Have Been Given A Chance By Arsenal

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A move to Aston Villa has been finalised for Manchester City’s out of favour shot stopper Shay Given for a relatively bargain fee of £3.5million. After Brad Friedel’s departure to Tottenham Hotspur, Villa required someone as good as the American and who better to fit the bill at the current time than the Republic of Ireland international? Yes, he may be 35, but as we all should be aware of, age doesn’t stop most goalkeepers, the ones who are serious about staying in the firing line for as long as possible, as playing at the top level into one’s fourth decade has almost become a custom, so why didn’t Arsenal make an approach for him?

Current Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski has made some high profile errors in his time with the club, notably being at fault for two of Wigan Athletic’s goals near the end of the 2009/2010 campaign in a game his side led 2-0 until the 80th minute only to lose 3-2, which effectively put paid to any title aspirations that his side may have had. He wasn’t the only one of course: Manuel Alumunia has also been prone to a catalogue of clangers that has cost the Gunners vital points, which makes Arsene Wenger’s need for a goalkeeper ever more a priority.

I’m sure he would prefer a younger man than Given, but sometimes, you have to take what’s on offer. A person who is starving does not hold out for a steak and chips if there is plain old boring rice on offer; he eats the rice to survive and that is an analogy that could be fit for Arsenal, a club starved of success for six long years.

Whilst a player of Given’s calibre was available, they should have taken the opportunity to sign him if there was no one else they could have found. Although I would consider the former Newcastle United man good enough to be on top of the list amongst all the shot stopper’s that are out there as he has still got a few good years ahead of him providing he stays fit plus he has played the most English Premier league games out of all the goalkeepers who currently ply their trade in the Premiership, a career spanning fifteen years.

With Friedel gone to Tottenham, Alex McLeish sees the Irishman as the ideal replacement. There was no doubt that he wanted to leave City to get first team football and it was a golden opportunity for Wenger to acquire his services in one of many positions that Arsenal need to improve on if they want to bring their first trophy to the Emirates Stadium let alone the League championship and Champions League prizes.

Harry Redknapp seized the moment in bringing in Friedel on a free transfer as even though he is 40, he can still do a good job for Spurs and while there are seemingly not many other keepers available it is a decent temporary solution. Given could prove to be a more fruitful investment than the ex-Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers player, as he is five years younger and not many goalkeepers of his standard go on sale that often.

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  • Moses Watasa says:

    Reliable ex-Newcastle and Manchester city shot-stopper Shay would have been Given by Arsene Wenger only if he was ‘unknown’, ‘suspect’ between the posts (an Almunia-of-sorts) and vaialable at less that 2 million pounds.

  • bergy says:

    This is nonsense. Fabianski was perhaps the best goalkeeper in the premiership the period he was the first-choice.

    Sczcesny has proved himself to be a talent of the highest quality. I can’t see one good reason for Arsenal to sign an older keeper who are not as good as the ones they already got.

    Given is to weak in the air, and would be an horrible solution for Arsenal

  • Lee Wright says:

    Why does everyone think we need a keeper, especially Given who is past it? We have Sczcesny who is far better than Given or Foster or anyone else we have been linked with

  • Goooner says:

    Fabianski is not the current Arsenal keeper…

    • Ricky Murray says:

      He may not the Number 1. but he IS a CURRENT Arsenal keeper. He’s signed to them NOW; a word that can also be interpreted as ‘current’.

  • MikeSA says:

    Too short, never leaves his line, doesn’t command his area.

    Good shot stopper, but so are all keepers at this level.

    Have no idea why certain people and sites obsess over Given for Arsenal.

    He’s not good enough and never has been, that’s why its always been a rumour with zero actual interest from Arsenal.

    • Ricky Murray says:

      Oh come on, he’s been a top-class goalkeeper for fifteen years in the Premiership. He may not be THE best in your opinion but I personally think he’s better than most keepers in the league at the present time including the current crop that Arsenal have at their disposal.

  • cin says:

    why didn’t Arsenal make an approach for him?

    Its a simple answer.
    Arsenal doesn’t want to win anything…….

  • Barry'sboots says:

    Some of you Arsenal fans are so blinkered. Given is a great keeper and has consistently been at the top of the EPL. He would have been a great solution for Arsenal. However, I do agree that Czesny looks a decent talent. I would have thought having the two would be an ideal solution to an area that Arsenal have had problems with since the poney tailed one retired. I can see why Given would not want to go there though as he would face more competition with the emerging Czesny.

  • James says:

    Some people are clueless. Given would have been a perfect signing for Arsenal yet some Arsenal fans genuinely believe they don’t need a top class keeper because they are ok in that position. Flapihandski is not top class and Czesny is still raw at this time but looks a prospect. Enjoy winning nothing again next year and I anticipate more crucial goalkeeping errors and people wondering why Given was not signed.

  • James says:

    Also Given is not passed it either. How old was Van Der Sar when Man U signed him? I think it was 35 also and they got 5 years out of him whilst winning trophies. You remember what trophies are Arsenal fans?

    • Ricky Murray says:

      Totally agree with everything you’ve said there James. That’s what I was saying in the article concerning keepers in their mid 30’s. I somehow forgot to mention Van der Sar in connection with that. Bit of a fail on my part.

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