Aston Villa’s Shay Given addresses his lack of playing time

Shay Given is second choice goalkeeper behind Brad Guzan.

39-year-old stopper Given has told the official Manchester City website that he is still working hard to guarantee playing time, even if Guzan is Tim Sherwood’s first-choice ‘keeper.

“I’m still working hard behind the scenes here at Villa and enjoying training and playing when the chances come along,” the Irish international said. “Brad Guzan plays the Premier League games but we’ve had a great run in the FA Cup and we’ve a final to look forward to now which is great for everyone connected to the club. I’ve played in every game in the FA Cup and you just have to do the best you can when you’re given the opportunity.”

Given arrived at Villa Park from Manchester City in 2011, after spending two years as City’s first-choice in their progression to Premier League giant.

Despite his advancing age, he has long proven himself in the Premier League, and his 49 appearances for Villa have done much to show that he could still play for another few years yet.

However, this term, his chances have been few and far between, and although he has been named on the bench for every single Premier League game this season, he has yet to register an appearance.

He featured in one League Cup game - a 1-0 loss to Leyton Orient - and has started every game as Villa have progressed to the FA Cup Final, and he arguably deserves to keep his place for the Final against Arsenal, despite Guzan’s undeniable quality.

Like Mark Schwarzer, who at 42 is still going strong after leaving Chelsea for Leicester, Given may have to depart for another club to continue receiving consistent playing time in the top flight, and there is no doubt that he is still good enough to do a job for any number of the top level clubs.

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