Shay Given or Joe Hart: VOTE HERE

10 Aug

For most sides, the number one goalkeeper is an obvious choice. Teams are built around this individual, the safe pair of hands who can be called upon to rescue points and provide a calm head to an otherwise frenetic moment. But for Manchester City, it is in this crucial position where most talk and column inches will be directed over the next few days, in the build up to the first game of the season, away to Spurs on Saturday. There are two very worthy options, and at the end of this article, please vote for your preferred choice.

I’m now going to provide a bit of information on the merits of Hart and Given, and in order not to attract criticism of being biased, I’ll start alphabetically by reviewing Given first.

Shay Given – The Irishman is by far the more experienced of the two, and for this reason, many supporters believe that he should be handed the goalkeeper’s shirt. He’s been a Premier League stalwart for a number of years, representing Newcastle and now our beloved Blues with distinction. His vocal and communicative skills are superior to that of Hart, whilst his shot-stopping ability is indubitable. As a general rule, goalkeepers tend to produce their best towards their later years, so Given should be on top of his game at the moment.

He has recovered from the shoulder injury that he suffered against Arsenal last season, and is desperate to be picked for the Spurs game. He’s already indicated that he may leave on a temporary basis if not selected, and there would be no shortage of suitors for Shay. His principal weakness, as picked up on by a vast number of fans, is his inability to command his six-yard box, very rarely coming to claim crosses, which resulted in a few goals conceded last season.

Joe Hart – Now installed as England’s number one, the former Shrewsbury man, who spent last season on loan at Birmingham, is hoping to be handed the shirt instead of Given on Saturday. The youngster, who travelled to the World Cup without playing, has started the vast majority of pre-season games, and many feel that the future of our club would be best served by giving Hart the jersey against Spurs.

He proved that he is up to the task throughout the erstwhile campaign at Birmingham, where his consistently outstanding performances attracted praise from all quarters. He commands his area better than Given, and although younger, and therefore more susceptible to a mistake, he has made remarkably few noteworthy mistakes.

Thanks for reading – any comment beneath would be appreciated. The choice is now up to you. Shay Given or Joe Hart?


12 Responses to “Shay Given or Joe Hart: VOTE HERE”

  1. HeavyRiffs 10/08/2010 at 7:01 pm #

    I’ve always gone for Given previously, but after his destabilising comments made to the media whilst with Ireland, it might be time to give Joe his head….
    Thus I voted accordingly…

  2. Ricky 10/08/2010 at 7:12 pm #

    I think you hit the nail on the head here Steven. Hart is the FUTURE of the club. However, for this season at the very least, experience is what is needed.

    It does not resign Hart to sitting on the bench all season however. While potentially fighting for silveware on four fronts (League, League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League), we will need a second keeper to ensure that the quality of defence – and therefore the health of our silverware chances – is not compromised by the fatigue of the last line of defence.

    Hart for the future, Given for now.

  3. HeavyRiffs 10/08/2010 at 7:16 pm #

    My head says Given, but my heart funnily enough, says Hart.

    Hart when given regular starts last year excelled, let’s be honest, Given had a great year too though.
    But for me with the centre backs we still have, I’d prefer the keeper of greater stature, command of his box and the ability to claim a cross from time to time. That unfortunately isn’t Given…

  4. Alec 10/08/2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Hart for two reasons. One, I believe he’s the better ‘keeper. Two, whichever one isn’t made first choice is going to be peeved and probably want to leave the club (Ricky I can’t see Hart content to settle for Premier League benchwarmer and occasional cup stand-in and Given has made his thoughts on leaving in search of first team games clear). Peeve Given and you’ll lose a player in the twilight of his career, with maybe only a couple more good seasons in him. Peeve Hart and you’ll lose the best young ‘keeper in the country with probably 15 more seasons to give. Logically keeping Hart is by far the better option.

    For “his shot-stopping ability is indubitable” read “his ability at allowing tame Glenn Whelan shots to squirm under him and in is indubitable.”

  5. It's Grim Oop North 10/08/2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Once again no-one has mentioned Given’s inability to pass the ball to his defence.
    Am I the only person who sees this as a massive problem?
    Everytime Given punts the ball into the stratosphere, we lose possession and it comes back on our beleaguered defence with knobs on.
    This is why every defence in front of Given including several versions at Newcastle were deemed to be rubbish, and this will continue at City until the root cause, Given, is on his way.
    Defenders need confidence to play well, previously lauded players become a laughing stock suddenly in front of Given.
    Watch him fail to distribute the ball economically and decisively next time he plays, once you see it, you can’t help but despair at the way he dictates our game into a long ball melee.
    Mancini obviously tried to get him to amend his ways, but he can’t sustain the effort to resist the temptation to boot the ball as far up the pitch as he can, and I predict Mancini won’t shed a tear if Given is packed off on loan, or better yet flogged off to the next bunch of suckers.
    Watching the Arse’s passing game going down the toilet will be sad but amusing all in one!

  6. Playmaker 10/08/2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Given has playd his part. Its tym for da future. Nd its here in da shape of hart. He had a great last season nd so did given. Bt perosanlly i thnk he is mre athletic,agile nd has gt bttr reflexs dan given. Also has gt great command ovr da six yrd box,thus he is a bttr keepr dan given. Nd he is 23 . So, he isnt a boy nymre. Nd, given da chance he will surely shine fr city dis season. Given had his run, bt its tym fr hart. Nd city is talkin bout al da changes dis season…. So, um keepin ma fngrs crssd fr hart.

    • View From A Blue 10/08/2010 at 10:49 pm #

      I think Alec hit the nail on the head. I think most fans agree Given would be the better choice for this season, but Hart would most likely leave if not first choice now. Hart is the future, so unless Hart would be happy to go on loan for a year and then come back and be first choice, he would have to get the jersey now.

  7. H 10/08/2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Peeve Given and you’ll lose a player in the twilight of his career, with maybe only a couple more good seasons in him. Peeve Hart and you’ll lose the best young ‘keeper in the country with probably 15 more seasons to give.

    Alec, top observation. That really does sum it up perfectly and makes the decision soooo easy. Joe Hart, no contest.

    Nice one. H

  8. HeavyRiffs 11/08/2010 at 12:23 pm #


    Check your keyboard mate, someone’s stolen half your keys…

  9. Alec 11/08/2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Interestingly at Stoke we have a very similar situation going into the new season.

    We have Thomas Sorensen, who at 34, Given’s age, is a Premier League stalwart and a vastly experienced international, like Given.

    We also have Asmir Begović, who at 23, Hart’s age, is a very highly rated relative youngster who impressed last season.

    It seems that Begović is winning for us, as I’d like to see Hart do for you.


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