Cudicini explains why he's 'pleasantly surprised' by Aston Villa's Shay Given

Former Premier League goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has explained what has impressed him about Aston Villa shot stopper Shay Given.

Former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini explained to talkSPORT why he was pleasantly surprised by Aston Villa’s Shay Given during the international break.

Given started for the Republic of Ireland in their 1-1 draw against Poland and performed admirably, showing every bit of the experience he’s accumulated throughout his career.

“I was pleasantly surprised - The fact he's not playing much for Aston Villa but can still perform to such a high level is great,” said Cudicini.

Given is in a difficult position at Aston Villa because he’s a solid all round goalkeeper with plenty of talent who has an equally impressive colleague at club level in the form of Brad Guzan.

The American has earned the right to be considered the club’s number one, leaving Given with a challenge to show Tim Sherwood that he’s a better option between the sticks over the rest of the season.

Given’s impressive performance for Ireland backs up the recent form he’s shown for Villa in the FA Cup and Sherwood has a difficult choice to make for the semi-final at Wembley.

Given arguably deserves the chance to perform at England’s national stadium, but Villa’s number one may not take too kindly to being overlooked for such an important game in a season where Villa have predominantly struggled.

All Given can do is perform well and show strength with every chance he’s given by Sherwood and put as much pressure on the boss to start him more frequently in big games across all competitions.

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