Shay Given expects Manchester City to dominate

29 July 2011 11:27
Shay Given digested Manchester City's multi-million pound swoop for Sergio Aguero and had to concede his former club seemed on an unstoppable course towards world domination.

Given is in Hong Kong, playing in the Barclays Asia Cup with his new club Aston Villa, relieved to have bid farewell to Eastlands after a maddening season frozen out of the first team.

Villa's targets are somewhat more modest, signing Charles N'Zogbia from Wigan and hoping for a decent cup and a top ten finish in the Barclays Premier League. City, meanwhile, continue to push back boundaries.

Fresh start: Shay Given joined Aston Villa from Manchester City

'They'll do big things, and rightly so,' said Given. 'They've got fantastic owners who are very supportive in bringing in some of the best players of the world, so I think it's inevitable they'll do big things.

'They'll be winning the Premier League and winning the European Cup, if not next year, then in the years to come. It's just a matter of time. When you have that level of support, there's every chance you can do that.

'They will aim for the title. That's what they did last year and that's the case now. They'll have to try and win it every year. That's what they have to try and I think they can.'

Given shows no trace of bitterness that he is missing out on City's adventure. Rather delight to be back in the first team, playing regularly after temporarily falling victim to the enormous squad stockpiled by Roberto Mancini.

Splashing out: City broke their transfer record when they signed Sergio Aguero

'We all just want to play football, really,' said the Irish goalkeeper. 'I'm not having a go at anyone. It's just how I felt. I'd been playing most of my career, so not to be playing for a season was very tough.

'I think, the main thing you learn is that you don't like sitting on the bench. That's the main thing. You train all week to play the games. That's the reason you train hard, work in the gym and train, to get on the pitch.

'I'm not getting any younger. I turned 35 in April and I really do feel that I'm at a stage in my career where I have to be playing regularly. That was my only thinking, you know.

'Man City is a great club and they're going to be a big club in world football, not just the Premier League, so it was a big decision. But for me, on a personal decision, it was the right one to take.'

Moving on: Charles N'Zogbia is close to joining Aston Villa

It means adjusting his ambitions for the season ahead, under Alex McLeish, at Villa Park.

'We're in a bracket where it's going to be tough to win the league,' said Given. 'But we've got cup competitions and we can give them a real good go. On a cup day, anything can happen as the manager proved last year by beating Arsenal in the final with Birmingham.

'I've been very impressed with the squad of players we have here and some of the young players coming through, too, are very exciting. Maybe fans might not have seen the best of them yet, but in the coming seasons there'll be big things for them coming through.'

N'Zogbia, expected to complete his ?9.5million transfer from Wigan next week, played with Given at Newcastle, where the French international earned a reputation as an awkward customer.

Friendly fire: Villa beat Blackburn in a friendly in Hong Kong

'To be fair to Charles, he had some issues when he was at Newcastle,' said Given. 'But, as a person and as a footballer, he's grown. People forget how young he was when he was at Newcastle.

'In the last couple of seasons he's shown at Wigan just what a good player he is on and off the pitch. That comes with living, with life, and getting a wee bit older.

'I'm looking forward to meeting up with him again because he proved himself to be Wigan's best player in the last two seasons. I think a lot of Premier League defenders don't like playing against him because he's very quick and direct with the ball.

'He can create goals for himself and for others, and looks like he's got his head down and is working hard.'

 CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE FANTASY FOOTBALL GAMEN'Zogbia will be an Aston Villa player next week, says manager McLeishAston Villa 1 Blackburn 0: Bent fires winner to seal Barclays Asia Trophy openerAll the latest Aston Villa news, features and opinion

Source: Daily_Mail