Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, Shay Given has admitted that his time at Aston Villa was frustrating due to the amount of football he played, always wishing he could feature for more minutes of Premier League action.
Given said: “My time at Villa, I wish I'd played more games but didn't, for whatever reason, and that was frustrating.”
Given left Villa over the summer, joining Stoke on a free transfer after four years at Villa park.
He played 53 times for the club, and as a goalkeeper, struggled to ever tie down a first-team role with the Birmingham-based club.
Last season was one where Given found himself especially out of the side, playing just three Premier League games, all coming at the end of the campaign under Tim Sherwood when Villa’s league safety was secured.
He did play every minute of their FA Cup run though, helping the side through to the Final, although he conceded four times to Arsenal in the Wembley game.
Given cannot explain his lack of football, and it is hard to disagree with the the fact that the 39-year-old deserved to play more given his proven Premier League pedigree.
However, he was always competing with Brad Guzan for the starting role at Villa Park, and the USA international himself is a top class Premier League stopper, and has shown on many occasions that he could compete with Given for the number one jersey.
Since joining Stoke, Given has been second choice to Jack Butland, continuing the role that he played at Villa Park, and it is a sad way to see a true Premier League great end his career with nothing more than a whimper.