Shay Given Impressed with Sam Allardyce

A year ago today Shay Given had missed very few games in the then nine years of his time at Newcastle. But on September 17th against West Ham Shay suffered that sickening injury when he ruptured a groin in his accidental clash with Marlon Harewood at West Ham.

Shay, for the first time in his career, missed a number of games last season and even in pre-season he injured his groin again and has only played once this season, giving able deputy Steve Harper a run in the side.

Like most Newcastle players this season, Shay is impressed with new manager Sam Allardyce and is hopeful the manager’s new fitness regime will help minimize picking up injuries.


Shay Given – will be most capped Irish goalkeeper after Saturday’s game

This is what Shay said yesterday as he is in training for the Ireland game at Slovakia on Saturday.

“Sam has got his own ideas and is very much into fitness and the sports science and nutritional sides of things, and how best to recover in time for the next game,”

“He has opened our eyes to things we weren’t aware of in the past and I think it will help everyone connected with the club to become stronger and fitter, and invariably a better player.”

“I am very excited about it because it is just so frustrating being injured again. It is great to be coming back at a time when the Republic of Ireland are involved in two such massive games.”

Given will break the record for the Ireland goalkeeper most capped by his country in Saturdays game against Slovakia, when he exceeds Paddy Bonner’s record of 80 appearances. Shay is not thinking of records right now as the Irish prepare for a vital stage of their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

“Records are something to look back on at the end of your career, at the moment all I am concentrating on is getting the results we need,”

“I am not thinking about records at all.”

Ireland are currently third in their group, one point behind the Czech Republic who they face in Prague next Wednesday. Germany are a full five points clear at the top of the Group D. Shay will be playing against new team mate David Rozehnal next Wednesday. The Czech defender has made an excellent start to his Newcastle career and it should be an interesting game for Newcastle fans to watch.

Two teams go forward from each group to next summer’s finals in Austria and Switzerland.

16 comments so far

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 7, 2007 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #1

    Again, nothing there to imply dissatisfaction with Sam. Press making a mountain again out of a pimple. Glad Shay’s excited – he should be as he’ll be a big part of Sam’s plans

  • Aussie Toon

    Sep 7, 2007 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #2

    Last year he would have been convinced of getting nothing from his faithful service to the Toon. Shay is excited with the realistic chance of a trophy before he retires in a couple of years 🙂

  • ross

    Sep 7, 2007 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #3

    Year after year Shay has sounded the alarm bells about our lack of quality players. I think even Shay “Oh B’Jesus” Given is quietly confident of our chances of challenging the big boys once again.

    Happy days.

  • Lamesley Mag

    Sep 7, 2007 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #4

    Best of luck to Shay and the Republic for their upcoming qualifying games.

    Shay’s done well for Newcastle and will soon recover the first team goalkeeping jersey. Just needs to be patient and stay match-fit as BSA will rotate his squad to keep them all on his toes…….

  • Bill F

    Sep 7, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #5

    The problem with any injuries is that the replacement tissue is never as good as the original and it leaves an inherant weakness. This is why even after the best treatment money can buy a consistent level of maintenance is required to prevent reoccureance in the site of the injury. Hence the comments re. Owen earlier in week. I am sure Shay is aware of this and acknowleges that he may not be able to play every game and is happy to know there is backup on and off the pitch.

  • michael

    Sep 7, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #6


    I don’t wish to put a downer on you Ed, cos I like your work. But Shay ruptured his bowel in that smash with Harewood. The groin has been a problem, but I think it’s worth mentioning as a tear in your intestines is much scarier. Think of faeces leaking into your abdominal cavity. There is a fair chance he went septic, as you would with poo sloshing around in your peritineum. His stay in hospital was prolonged, and i’ll bet he has a big scar on his belly to remind him of a night in intensive care. Point being that this injury must have affected his confidence in one on ones, and will we ever see the Shay we had before.

  • rich

    Sep 7, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #7

    Seems Darren was right and Shay is going to hand in a transfer request.

    your sources seem to of let you down once again.


  • rich

    Sep 7, 2007 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #8

    @ Michael –

    Accroding to reports it didnt go sceptic they caught it in time, and it wasnt like a massive hole was gashing crap into his body i believe he ‘perforated’ his bowel which is just like a small cut but very painful and serious non-the-less.

  • michael

    Sep 7, 2007 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #9


    Sepsis is not the same as septicaemia (which as you will no is a sepsis combined with SIRS). Adequate antimicrobial therapy instituted as prophylaxis does not disuguise the severity of any perforation in the bowel with may expose the peritoneal cavity to the flora of the gut. He will still have had surgical intervention probably a partial colectomy and an anastomosis. All of which is scary, I assure you, I know I can do one.

  • michael

    Sep 7, 2007 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #10

    Only joking, but the big words sound good, eh.

  • Darren

    Sep 7, 2007 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #11

    The voice of Rich, the armchair plastic fan.

    I didn’t say Shay was gonna leave, I said BSA prefers Harper. You will find out a week on Monday.

    So get your facts straight you deluded knobjockey.

  • George

    Sep 7, 2007 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #12

    Sam Allerdyce has got a problem with Shay Given, but not the sort we are thinking about.
    Shay without doubt is one of the best keepers in the world, certainly in the top 6. However, on performances to date Steve Harper is proving to be just as good with his performances. We all have our favourites, but i am not bothered either way as i trust and have faith in them both.
    We at NUFC are blessed to have 2 such good keepers on our books, (3 if you count Kroll aswell).
    Which ever way you look at this i dont think you can pacify both lads equally.
    I believe Shay will once again become No1 choice and Steve No2. But, will Steve Harper be willing to play second fiddle again at his age and with his ability, i fear not and can se SH asking for a transfer, afterall, each manager we have had while SH has played for us has always promised him he would play, and each one has let him down. Sad but this is what i can see happening.

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 7, 2007 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #13

    Aussie Toon – think Shay Given will be around at least for the next 5 years and probably longer under Big Sam.

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 7, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #14

    michael – OK good point – i hope the injury hasn’t affected his confidence – i mean he looked like the old Shay in pre-season – he was great against Juventus. Injuries may get you down a bit – especially when he’s been injury free before this. He’s never really suffered in a lack of confidence.

  • Sinead

    Sep 7, 2007 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #15

    Michael, Shay’s FIRST game back against Arsenal after he had that horror injury, he made a save at the end of an Arsenal’s player (whose name I can’t remember) feet, nearly the exact same situation he got injured in (and the Arsenal player just happened to be offside aswell) and he didn’t even flinch. He’s played a good few matches since then and he’d been fine. Ya it most of been horrible and frightning and very painfull like, but he says he over it and he’s done nothing to proove other wise.

    Harper isn’t as good or as anywhere as good as Given. I think that Sam wants to make a point by not playing him that kinda makes no one invincible like, that means anyone can be dropped. Marking his authority like. Given is very popular with the fans and the team and very respected and outstanding, really good keeper. I’d say it’s more to make a point then anything.

  • Tripp

    Sep 7, 2007 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #16

    When Given is properly fit he’ll return. Harper has done admirably in Shay’s absence. This is a good thing.


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