Wednesday, December 31, 2008

'Keeper's a kept man

According to JFK, Shay Given - "the best goalkeeper in the Premier League by a country mile" - is going nowhere in January.

With the transfer window about to open and Given's outstanding performance against Liverpool on Sunday the only thing that prevented the league leaders from registering double figures, that the Irishman's future would once again be the subject of speculation was inevitable - with perennial suitors Arsenal and (surprise, surprise) Moneybags FC rumoured to be circling. But JFK's adamant: "He won't be leaving - he has no interest in that whatsoever. He loves the football club. He's part of the city and that suits us because he's a world-class goalkeeper. He's very happy here, he's very comfortable at Newcastle United".

To reiterate what's been said here many times before: Given owes us absolutely nothing, and in fact the opposite's true - if an offer came in and he was to decide to leave, he has every right to feel the club shouldn't stand in his way. And, indeed, at a time when we're desperate for new recruits in a number of positions, the club may eye the cash and gladly offer him the opportunity to actually win something other than man-of-the-match awards week in week out...

In other news, JFK has sought to protect our hopes of progressing to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup by cancelling training. An unusual move, you might think - even when our Third Round fixture is against a demoralised Hull side with one win in 11 games. The reason? A simple lack of bodies. Of course we're used to acute injury crises and have limped through them before - but our perilous position in the league makes it all the more worrying. Presumably building work on the extension to our treatment room has been completed by now, at least...

Today's transfer rumours, both in the Sun, have linked us with Wolves winger Michael Kightly, rated at around £4m and also allegedly wanted by Everton and the Smoggies, and Andy Carroll with a move to Ipswich for £1.5m. We're more in need of defenders, central midfielders and strikers than wingers, but I suppose that if Charles N'Zogbia was to leave it might be wise to replace him rather than rely on just Damien Duff and Spiderman.

The Currant Bun also claims that Jose Mourinho wants to sign Little Saint Mick for Inter Milan, using Honduran striker David Suazo as part of the deal. My opinion remains the same, though: taking the bait and showing a proven Premier League hitman the door with five months of the season to go and safety far from assured would be daft in the extreme.


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