Newcastle’s number one goalkeeper for Newcastle United, Shay Given,Â since he joined back in 1997, has today talked to the Evening Chronicle.
Shay Given – ready to fight for his place next season
And Given has let everybody know the only thing that interests him in football is playing in goal for Newcastle United, since he’s long been settled on Tyneside with his family.
Given and his long term deputy Steve Harper are ready to go head to head for the Newcastle goalkeeper jersey the coming season, and it’s going to be some battle.
We have a poll active on who readers think will be our number 1 next season, so if you haven’t yet voted, feel free to do so.
Given joined in 1997 from Blackburn, and we remember being at St. James’ Park for his Newcastle debut when we beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 with a couple of goals from Faustino Asprilla, with Alan Shearer having been injured in pre-season.
Shay talked to the Evening Chronicle today about his link with Arsenal during the summer:
â€œI donâ€™t know where the story came from.”â€œIâ€™ve said all along that Iâ€™m extremely happy living and playing here in Newcastle.”
â€œI want to help to move this club forward and hopefully weâ€™ll get new players in and strengthen the squad.”
â€œWe want to get this place going.â€
Given has been in injury agony over the last two seasons, after previously having hardly missed a game for the club.
That was after his horrific injury sustained after a challenge from West Ham striker Marlon Harewood at Upton Park in September of 2006.
The injury caused Given to suffer a 1cm tear in his bowel, with doctors indicating they had only seen that type of injury with car-crash victims.
Given had his groin fixed by none other than Dr Ulrike Muschaweck, on March 18th, and she also operated, with great success, on Michael Owen and Alan Shearer’s hernia problems.
And after getting fit for most of this summer Shay said:
â€œIâ€™m just raring to go and ready to play football again.”Â Â â€œItâ€™s been a long close season and it was a long end to the season as well.”
â€œI was working on fitness towards the end of last season and continued that throughout the summer.” â€œI feel as fit and strong as I have ever felt.” â€œIâ€™ve done a lot of rehabilitation with the physios and been in the gym.”
â€œNow Iâ€™m just ready to get back out on the field.” â€œI only had a bit of a break, but even when I was away I was doing my work and training.”
â€œIâ€™d had a break after I had an operation, so my aim was always to get fit for the start of pre-season, not the end. As I say, I feel as fit as ever, so it has paid off.â€
It will be a monumental battle between Steve and Shay this coming season, and it just seems such a pity that one of them will not be playing, since they’re easily Premier League class keepers.