No disrespect to Tim Krul but Shay Given is easily my favourite ever Newcastle keeper.

A class act who was up there with the very best when he was at St. James’ Park, being voted into the PFA Premier League team of the season by his fellow professionals.

Now though Given will be in opposition and is dreaming of playing.

However, returning to a ‘special place’ he will almost certainly only be on the bench.

The former Newcastle keeper hasn’t played a single Premier League match this season and is behind Guzan in the pecking order.

In the Cups though, Shay Given has been given games and his three victories in FA Cup matches so far this season is only two less than the number of wins Guzan has experienced in 26 league games so far.

Shay Given:

“I will always look forward to going back to Newcastle. I was there for nearly 12 years of my life and it is one of the venues I obviously really enjoy returning to.

“I’ll always have fond memories going back to St James’ Park and I’m relishing this weekend, I’d love to go up there and play with Villa.”

Special place:

“It’s a special place to play football and the fans were great to me over the years there.

“It’s a great place but come matchday it’s all about the three points for us. I want to win the game and get the victory.”

Christmas Gifts -

  • Albert27

    Pav man.

  • Geordie Zebra

    Shay the best we’ve had.

  • TinoAsp

    Shay Given has been one of the most under-recognised Goalkeepers of the Premier League Years, not by Toon and even Mackem fans but by the press, pundits and media.

    If Given had played for a Top 4 club during his peak and played for a more fashionable, more famous National team, he would have been acknowledged far, far more and held in higher esteem.

    Take England’s current number 1, Joe Hart, no doubting he is a good keeper, but when he has a howler, he really has one and he has a few games like that each season. I’m not saying Given never had a bad game but the level and type of error was no where near that of Hart. All this when he had a rubbish to average back four infront of him most of his career.

  • We’ve been lucky enough to have some quality keepers over the years. Pav is up there with Shay as well.

  • MagpieG

    Shay is the best keeper we’ve had in my 48 years of supporting the Toon by a country mile. If he’d been a couple of years older and had been our number 1 in 95/96 we’d have won the league.

  • toon tony

    At the other end of the scale, how about Shocker Hislop or for the older ones., Steve Hardwick !!!