Monday, February 02, 2009

462 and out

After years of loyalty, love and devotion, divorce is never a pretty thing, and so it is that Shay Given, the finest goalkeeper I've ever seen play for Newcastle, has finally decided that enough is enough, and hopped in to bed with Mark Hughes' Arab Plaything FC.

Seemingly, this season's catastrophic mismanagement has finally forced Shay to cast his eyes around for alternative suitors, after spending ages singlehandedly trying to stem the flow of attacking play, whilst the likes of Bramble, Carr and Marcelino floundered in front of him.

To be honest, I can't blame him.

After eleven years, in which, barring a spell under Gullit, he has been our first-choice keeper, Shay goes, guaranteed a great reception when he inevitably re-appears at St James' Park (either as player, or guest of the club) and with our thanks.

Whilst Steve Harper is an excellent keeper, who will hopefully go on to prove just how fortunate we were to have two outstanding keepers at the club for a decade, it is still a shame to see Shay go (not least because at a reported £7 million, he represents something of a bargain).

But gone he has, and we now need to look forward. With Harper a fine keeper, and two incredibly promising deputies in Fraser Forster and Tim Krul, we can count ourselves reasonably well stocked in terms of keepers, and at least we've now had a cash injection from City's billions.

Shay might have grown sick of our ineptitude, but at least he hasn't left us on a Bosman with nothing but the memories...


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