Given the night off

By on Sep 12, 06 01:13 PM

Shay GivenWouldn't it be nice to give Shay Given the night off in Tallinn?

No I don't mean drop him, I mean give the man a bit more protection.

It has to be said that in terms of value, Given must be up there with Alan Shearer when it comes to contributions in a United shirt.

If Shearer netted 206 goals for United then how many goals has Shay prevented at the other end?

Given was livid after the Fulham game with his defence - branding it worse than 'Sunday League' defending in the Chronicle - and who can blame him?

No marking, no clue, no idea and finally no points in terms of stopping them from going in the onion bag.

It can't be the same against the might of Levadia Tallinn can it?

Now he will be expected to stand between the posts in Estonia and do it all again should the defence let him down.

We'll have to wait and see about if they do but he's been left badly exposed at Villa and at home to Fulham now, and anyone remember the one on one he pulled off in the first leg against Ventspils?

Given will be the first person to admit he's just doing his job and being one of the more down to earth characters in the United dressing room but come on lads now's the time to give him a break.

You were good enough to do the same for Steve Harper at home to Ventspils!

 In association with



oxboy said:

Yes, lets blame the defense again.Yet Shay is perfect? Ok the lad is an outstanding shot saver but dealing with crosses, communicating with and organising HIS defense, for those who care to look its not a pretty sight.Pot and kettle spring to mind!

As for Tallin I know nothing but would hope for once that our midfield and attack control the game, then Shay will have a quiet night!

Get Animal said:

The defenders in Newcastle can't take their job, the club, their team-mates or the fans seriously. They have let all of us down too many times now. It should be possible for well paid football-players to have focus on their jobb for 2x45 min. When they can't, ask them what's wrong. Do they have personal problem's, and bring those with themselves on the pitch? Then it's all others problems too!

Most of all I feel sorry for Given who has to deal with some clowns in front of him every game. So yes, he deserves soon a night off.

gren said:

Shay is a fantastic keeper, who would fit in well with any of the top teams but would any of the elite teams have any of our defenders? NO! For the last 10 years or so we have been known for sloppy defending, it is nothing new to us. Shay has had some pretty poor guys in front of him over the years apart from a handfull. An injury free Woody would have been a start but he went to Boro. Newcastle loved to sign the big names over the years but these alone can't win trophies. All the top teams down the years have had a good pair of fullbacks and central defenders, it is the base of all good teams, no good building a team around a striker or midfeilder if the back four are not up to it. Shay has been a great servant to us, he deserves better in front of him.We need to break quick from defence and counter attack with some slick forward movement and passing,with telling through balls, not hoof up field and hope the latest big money buy gets the ball. I hope Dyer comes back fit soon, he is a great link between defence and attack, getting the ball midfield and cutting through opposing defences with a run or telling passes.Ask Keegan, we were 12 points clear one year and close to a title, we had players like Sir Les, Beardo and Shearer and still missed out because we were letting in goals.It was great attacking football. Even players of this calibre can't get the trophies by themselves for you, they need a solid back four, we have a great stopper in Shay Given, he needs better protection in front of him, when that happens we will start winning games. On Friday I don't want to see the headline "HERO SHAY", i would rather he was "GIVEN" a quiet night.

Ian said:

I agree that it would be nice to give Shay Given the night off in Tallinn; and that Newcastle’s defensive problems stretch back as far as to the end of Bobby Moncur’s reign at the heart of their defence (with the exception of those few games Jonathan Woodgate took control). However, I don’t think he is the world-class keeper the Toon Army thinks he is. His distribution mainly consists of the big boot up the park (Big Al’s gone Shay) so with the lack of hight in the Newcastle team it invariably comes straight back at us. Also,he hardly dominates his box and organises HIS defence like Peter the Great did for Man U. No Shay is a good premiership keeper and what he needs, like the rest of the defence, is a world-class central defensive leader. All great team start with a rock solid defence -Chelsea/Terry, Man U/Ferdinand, Arsenal/Cambell? etc. Come on Glen and Freddie find us one for January.

david foster said:

shay is a fantastic keeper no doubt,the 1 critisism i have is he's far to quiet where as he should be balling at his back four more,maybe then will we look like being in control at the back.why we never bid for huth or woodgate puzzles me.a long hard season awaits us if we dnt tighten up at the back


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links