Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has admitted at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Ham United that Shay Given’s recent return to Premier League action could give him a selection dilemma for the FA Cup final.
Prior to last weekend’s 3-2 win over Everton, Brad Guzan had made 108 consecutive top-flight starts for the club since taking Given’s place between the posts in September 2012, with his shot-stopping heroics helping them avoid relegation in back-to-back campaigns.
However, the US international saw his place come under increasing threat in recent months amid his then-backup’s impressive FA Cup showings, before a horrendous blunder in the early stages of late-April’s 3-2 league defeat at Manchester City prompted Sherwood to make a switch for the Toffees encounter.
The Villa boss stresses that Given still isn’t guaranteed to earn a consecutive start against West Ham but admits that if the Irishman continues in goal for the Premier League run-in then Guzan would have a strong case for facing Arsenal in the Wembley showpiece on May 30.
"Who knows who will play in the cup final?” said Sherwood. “I might have swung it around, and I’ll have to ask Shay would he like to play in the last three league games or the cup final.”
Continuing on whether Given will keep his place for West Ham’s visit, Sherwood added: “That's a decision I haven't made yet. It is a tough one to make because they are both very, very good goalies.
"Shay's attitude has been first class and since Brad has been left out his attitude has been great as well, so it's a tough decision deciding between them as you can only pick one."