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Ex-City keeper feels for Given

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06 Sep 2010 07:54:50

| Submit Comments| Comments (9)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapBENCH ROLE: Shay GivenIf Shay Given is feeling frustrated at being on Manchester City?s bench this season, he will get a sympathetic ear from Andy Dibble. Given has found himself on the sidelines at Eastlands so far this season thanks to the remarkable progress of Joe Hart. Dibble is full of praise for Hart ? who he reckons can be an England keeper for years to come. But at the same time, he can fully understand why Given wants to be in the thick of the action too. Dibble has been there, albeit in a different City era. Twenty years ago, he found himself edged out of the first team when Howard Kendall brought in Tony Coton from Watford. Up until that point, the Welshman had been first choice at Maine Road and he did not like finding himself out of the side. Dibble recalled: ?I was battling with Tony for a long time when he came to the club. ?The difference back then, I suppose, was that if I wasn?t in the team, then I could go out on loan. ?I wasn?t one to sit on the bench. I always wanted to be playing and found it very frustrating if I wasn?t. I know Joe and Shay, and they?re both great lads. There?s a great rivalry between them and yet they get on really well. ?But then you always find that with two goalkeepers at the same club. Keepers are a different breed, and they recognise that. ?Shay was unfortunate in that he damaged his shoulder at the end of last season and Joe has come back from his loan spell at Birmingham and taken his place. ?But it?s great for City that they?ve got two international keepers fighting it out ? and you can guarantee that Shay will keep Joe on his toes. ?Shay is one of the best keepers about. He?s proved that over more than a decade with Newcastle and City. ?But Joe is an up-and-coming keeper who has got what it takes to be an England regular for years to come. ?I certainly wouldn?t want to be in Roberto Mancini?s shoes having to make the decision as to which one plays.? The 45-year-old, who is the goalkeeping coach at League Two side Rotherham these days, still enjoys pulling on the gloves. He said: ?I still play for the City veterans as often as I can ? and I still have a lot of affection for the club. ?I have to say that City are great with all the ex-players. We still get invited the games and we?re really well looked after.? Dibble spent nine years at City after arriving fresh from helping Luton to beat Arsenal in the 1988 Littlewoods Cup final with a man-of-the-match display. His time with the Blues included one famous incident which, even now, he cannot escape being reminded about. In March 1990, during a game at Nottingham Forest, Dibble had the ball resting on the palm of his right hand, ready to throw it out after collecting a Garry Parker cross. Then, all of a sudden, Gary Crosby nipped in from behind him, headed the ball off his hand and tapped it into the net for the winning goal. ?At the time, I was miffed,? Dibble said. ?I do know that the goal shouldn?t have stood. I think the next time someone tried to do it, they got booked. ?I can still picture myself running after the referee, Roger Gifford. I?ve bumped into him a few times since then and we always have a chat about it. ?My kids see the footage of it now and they laugh about it. There is no getting away from it. We?ve been away on holiday and it always seems to crop up on the sporting bloopers video on the plane.? What are your memories of Dibble? Have your say.


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