Shay Given on Eddie Howe and Newcastle United owners compared to Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce
Shay Given gave Newcastle United a decade of great service.
The best goalkeeper the club has ever seen, in my humble opinion and I believe the vast majority of other Newcastle supporters.
For all of his many faults as Newcastle United manager, Kenny Dalglish made some great signings. Shay Given the best of all for me, though the likes of Nobby Solano, Gary Speed, Nikos Dabizas and Dietmar Hamann weren’t too shabby either.
The arrival of Mike Ashley and his spiteful running of the club led to even Shay Given feeling he had no choice but to leave Newcastle United.
However, along with all other Newcastle fans, happy days for Shay Given now with Eddie Howe and the new / current owners in place, with the likes of Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce just a fading memory (nightmare)…
Shay Given talking to flashscore about Newcastle United, the past and present – 16 November 2023:
“Under the previous ownership [of Mike Ashley], I wasn’t even allowed into the place.
“It’s quite refreshing for myself and all the other former players as well. They’re opening the doors.
“I was lucky enough to travel pre-season with them in America for a couple of weeks. Doing a little bit of ambassador stuff. Eddie was open to having me around for meals with the players. Just being around the place. Eddie and his staff were so welcoming to me personally.
“I think Eddie Howe’s one of the top managers as well.
“He’s really focused on people’s families and their personal situations. I think all that plays into getting the best out of a player on matchday. Eddie’s brilliant at that.
“It’s nice to be back at the club. I think it’s important as well for the club to have that bond with older players as well, and that was the club I gave my prime years to.
“There was a distance between Mike Ashley and the fans and the club.
“It was a real tough time for everyone.
“I’m not saying he was, but it came across to everyone that he was doing things almost to upset people.”
Shay Given on recruitment now at Newcastle United:
“They [Newcastle United owners] haven’t gone crazy with the spending.
“They have been very clever with their recruitment.
“They are in the Champions League.
“The turnaround to where the club was [under Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce], when Eddie Howe came in, is totally remarkable.
“I played in the last Newcastle team to reach the Champions League which is over 20 years ago.
“It’s crazy to think about for a club of that stature and size.
“It was my son’s birthday, so we flew over for the game [in Dortmund].
“Dortmund seemed to get out pretty easy after the 2-0 goal. The second goal took the wind out of their sails, but they’re still in with a chance, and people gave them no chance before a ball was even kicked, so they’ve got to take the positives out of it.”
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