So, Brian Marwood says Shay is going to stay and fight for his place. That’s the best news I’ve heard all week, even if he’s making it up just like everybody else. It might not make perfect sense to Shay – who’s used to deservedly being first choice – but it makes sense to City if they’re serious about having the strength in depth to challenge on all fronts.
Shay’s no sulker. He’s a team player who, towards the end of last season, many of us considered a serious candidate for captain. He may not like being a very close second to Hartypants, but he seems dedicated to the cause and hopefully sees such a rivalry for the top gloves as being ultimately good for the club. And dare I credit an Irish goalkeeper with such abstract thought, he probably understands Mancini’s tactic, considering the seriousness of the injury he sustained last season and the flapping and squawking that followed. No, it didn’t cost us Champions League football. Let’s give Spurs the credit for that.
I doubt Hart or Given would agree with this, but Hart, being a youngster ‘n’ all, needs regular first team action to sustain the confidence that makes him so good. Given, meanwhile, has enough years of experience and acres of self-belief that he can be more immediately effective when stepping in. Plus, if we are to believe Mancini wants him for a decent Europa or domestic cup run, it makes sense we have someone who’s not distracted or tired by having the league to think about. And if one brilliant keeper goes down, up steps the other brilliant one to take the reins.
Some say one cannot have one’s cake and eat it. Well, we’ve got a chuffin’ gert goalie and jam sponge, and a catering pack of spoons. So there.