Legendary shot-stopper Shay Given has spoken to the Cutter on all things goalkeeping at his former club Manchester City including a look back to his two years at the Etihad and why it was a period of mixed fortunes for the popular Irishman.
DC: Before we concentrate on between the sticks can we just touch on your punditry work. For many City supporters yourself and fellow ex-Blue Richard Dunne have proven to be very welcome additions to the studio because they believed their club was previously getting something of a raw deal from that aspect of the media…
SG: It’s nice to have a bit of balance. There is a lot of Liverpool and Manchester United heads on there and obviously City have just won the league and I do feel that some of their players from the past should be used to voice their opinion, to give them a shout-out because it can be a bit unbalanced.
DC: I appreciate that it’s easier said than done but do you expect other goalkeepers next season to try and replicate Ederson’s style of keeping given how successful its proven to be?
SG: It will come down to the manager. If Ederson played for a club like West Brom back in the day he’d be expected to launch it ninety yards. I remember Van der Saar at Fulham didn’t play out from the back but at Manchester United he was brilliant at it and people were surprised. But he was always that good with the ball at his feet it was just different teams and different systems and managers playing to that particular team’s strengths.
DC: Having spent a season behind Joe Hart in 2010/11 do you have empathy with Claudio Bravo’s current predicament at City? Is the Chilean better off moving on this summer?
SG: Every goalkeeper – every player – wants to play and that was always the case with me. Manchester City have won the league so there is a plus there but of course Ederson has played virtually every game. Bravo will have picked up a medal but he won’t feel like he deserved it. Having said that he got quite a lot of games last year in the cups so he might want to stay and that wasn’t the case with me when I was there – Mancini just totally binned me to be honest and by not even playing cup games that was more difficult.
DC: Should Bravo move on are Daniel Grimshaw and/or Angus Gunn good enough yet to step into the number two role?
SG : Grimshaw was a kid when I was there and he’s very comfortable with the ball at his feet and that’s exactly what Guardiola wants of course. I worked with Gunn as well at City and he has a big future in the game whether it’s at City or somewhere else. He’s done well at Norwich but he’s in a similar situation to Sam Johnstone at Villa. Yes they are two great clubs, City and Man United, but they’re not great clubs if you’re not playing. Angus will want to continue what he’s done at Norwich and play regularly next season.
These quotes were part of a larger interview conducted on behalf of 888sport.com where Shay looks back over his successful twenty year career.