Monday, August 01, 2005

Given to fly?*

The good news: Shay Given has said he'll be staying for the forthcoming season and then reconsider his position next summer, when he'll only have a year of his current deal to run.

The bad news: "I have to say I am in no mad rush to sign a new contract at Newcastle" - words every Newcastle fan didn't want to hear, but was probably expecting all the same.

Of course, presumably the reason Shepherd and co have been slow to offer him a new deal, despite him being one of the best 'keepers in the league and only having two years left, is precisely because they don't think they'll be able to offer the terms that would convince him to stay, and might thereby precipitate his departure.

As has been said here before, we have no right to demand Given's loyalty. For the last few seasons he's performed miracles with negligible support from a defence seemingly bent on self-destruction. If he chooses to move on, then who could blame him? Let's face facts: he's more likely to win the honours he richly deserves elsewhere.

Despite what he's said, it still wouldn't surprise me if the brilliant Irishman was no longer with us by the time the transfer window closes at the end of the month, especially with Arsenal still in the hunt for a new 'keeper, but I'll be praying he'll give us another year of his career.

* Look, it's a Pearl Jam song, OK? I don't care if you've never heard of it - it makes for a damn good pun. Today Black & White & Read All Over, tomorrow subediting for the Currant Bun...


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