Shay Given is a hero in Newcastle. The Irish goalkeeper spent most of his Premier League career at the club – helping them qualify for Europe on several occasions. The season he left the club to join Manchester City – Newcastle were relegated. That says a lot about Given's ability in goal.
A rather small man for a goalkeeper – Given tended to struggle with crosses in his early days. However – his shot-stopping abilities were never in doubt. With experience his game began to improve greatly, as did his ability to deal with crosses.
Given went on to make 554 appearances for Newcastle in all competitions. However – soon deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City – he soon moved to Aston Villa where he claimed the number one jersey. The 12/13 season however has seen Shay currently fight for it back off Brad Guzan.
Shay is also the record appearance holder for the Republic of Ireland football team with 125 appearances – between 1996 and 2012. Putting him in the Top 10 record appearances holder for international appearances.
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