Former Newcastle goalkeeper, 37 year-old Shay Given has it right about Newcastle, the club he played for from the summer of 1997 through January of 2009, when he had to leave because of what new owner Mike Ashley was doing to the club. Shay has said at Newcastle it’s either win the league or be related – it’s feast or famine.
Shay Given – while at Newcastle
Since leaving Newcastle, where he played 462 games for the club, Shay has been at Manchester City and Aston Villa, and lost his first team place at both clubs.
He is now on loan at Middlesbrough, since he cannot get his game at Villa because of American stopper Brad Guzan, and the Irishman had this to say today about his former club:
“The problem with Newcastle is that they are either going to win the league or they are going to get relegated,” “That’s the mentality they need to get out of.”
“They are eighth in the league at the minute, and in the grand scheme of things there will be a lot of managers up and down the country who would swap places with them in a heartbeat. They have to be realistic as well.”
“You could argue at the start of January, when they were doing so well, that had Mike Ashley dipped in his pocket and bought a couple of players and kept Cabaye, they could have been really pushing for Europe.”
“They are still pushing, but it is more difficult now. They’re probably thinking, ‘Where’s the ambition of the club?’ They have made some good signings, but they have also made some good money.”
“Ashley will tell you it is a business, and most clubs have to be a business now. Fans just want to see a bit more ambition, but at the end of the day, it’s his money.”
Shay Given is probably the best goalkeeper Newcastle have ever had in our history but he hasn’t fared well since leaving Newcastle five years ago.
And after playing 462 games in just over eleven and a half years for Newcastle (an average of 40 games a year) he has played only 116 games over the last five years (an average of 23 games a year) since leaving the Tyneside club.
It’s very rare that a player leaving Newcastle does better at another club than he did at Newcastle – that’s an odd statistic, but an accurate one too.
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