Friedel tips Given to excel

10 August 2011 11:30

Shay Given is being backed by his Aston Villa predecessor, Brad Friedel, to play on into his 40s and put 12 months of frustration at Manchester City behind him this season.

Friedel ended a successful three-year spell at Villa Park this summer when moving to Tottenham but believes Given is a quality replacement after he made the £3.5million switch from City.

He found himself replaced as Roberto Mancini's number one by Joe Hart but the 35-year-old wants to rebuild his career after signing a five year contract at Villa. Friedel said: "Shay has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League for probably the past 10 years, if not a little bit longer."

He added: "When you're looking at signing a first-team goalkeeper, in my opinion, there was no one better than Shay out there.

"The Aston Villa fans demand and deserve quality performers on the pitch and Shay is definitely a top-quality guy. I think he's an absolutely brilliant signing for Aston Villa Football Club.

"They needed to go out and get a very experienced number one goalkeeper and there is no-one who fits the bill better than Shay."

Friedel added: "Shay had a year of not playing first team regular football and it must be said this was through no fault of his own. He was kept out by a very good goalkeeper in Joe Hart.

"Shay did not play himself out of the position in any way, shape or form. It was just that Joe had a tremendous season at Birmingham, went back to Manchester City and performed well in pre-season, then had a very good season in the Premier League.

"There is not much Shay could have done about that. I'm sure, it was probably the most frustrating thing that a goalkeeper of Shay's quality has ever had to endure.

"But it may prove to be good for himself and his body to have had that rest. In fact, it could help greatly."

Source: PA