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Big Sam: 'Dropping Shay was easy'


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Sam Allardyce says leaving Shay Given out of Newcastle United's last game was NOT a difficult decision.

 

Fit-again Given had to be content with a place on the bench when Allardyce named his side to face Wigan Athletic at St James's Park a fortnight ago, with Steve Harper lining up between the posts.

 

And Harper is very much in possession of the United goalkeeping jersey ahead of Monday night's game against Derby County at Pride Park.

 

Given – who had faced Barnsley in a Carling Cup tie three days before the Wigan game after recovering from the groin injury which had put him out of the start of the season – is not used to bench duty.

 

Allardyce's predecessors have more often than not pitched Given back into Premier League action when he has returned to fitness from an injury.

 

But Allardyce has been as good as his word, having insisted all players started under him with a clean slate when he took charge.

 

And Harper has not put a foot wrong in Newcastle's first four Premier League games, with the 32-year-old keeping two clean sheets in an unbeaten start to the season.

 

Allardyce said: "How a manager deals with that situation is what makes you a manager.

 

"And the bottom line is, at the moment, that I don't see it being a difficult decision, to be honest."

 

Harper's Premier League start against the Latics was the 50th of his United career, taking his total appearances for the Magpies to 94 in all competitions.

 

The Easington-born player made his debut in November 1998 against Wimbledon, when Ruud Gullit was in charge at St James's Park.

 

Given, meanwhile, has turned out 414 times for Newcastle, putting him sixth in the club's all-time appearance table.

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Guest Patrokles
I think it sends out the right message, to be honest. If you're in the team and performing very well, you stay in the team. No exceptions.

 

Bollocks. You don't drop your best player unless they're playing poorly. Given wasn't and hasn't for a long time.

 

He wasn't dropped, he was injured. Someone else came in and has performed well. If it was an outfield position, you'd want to keep the team the same. Where's the difference?

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given is the better keeper. he should always start if he's 100 per cent

 

What if he doesn't want to be here?

 

huh?

 

You said Given should start every game when fit because he's a better 'keeper, but what if he doesn't want to be here? Would you still pick him?

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given is the better keeper. he should always start if he's 100 per cent

 

What if he doesn't want to be here?

 

huh?

 

You said Given should start every game when fit because he's a better 'keeper, but what if he doesn't want to be here? Would you still pick him?

 

yes. because he's our best keeper. even if he fancied a move (which i doubt after all the years he's been at the club), he'd have to be a bit of twat not to give 100 per cent if selected.

 

what makes you think he doesn't want to be here?

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given is the better keeper. he should always start if he's 100 per cent

 

What if he doesn't want to be here?

 

huh?

 

You said Given should start every game when fit because he's a better 'keeper, but what if he doesn't want to be here? Would you still pick him?

 

Think hes referring back a few season ago when he threw his dummy out when Harper was getting picked over him

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given is the better keeper. he should always start if he's 100 per cent

 

What if he doesn't want to be here?

 

huh?

 

You said Given should start every game when fit because he's a better 'keeper, but what if he doesn't want to be here? Would you still pick him?

 

yes. because he's our best keeper. even if he fancied a move (which i doubt after all the years he's been at the club), he'd have to be a bit of twat not to give 100 per cent if selected.

 

what makes you think he doesn't want to be here?

 

I don't, I was just curious ;)

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I've championed Harper in the past and think it's a good thing Sam is sticking with him, I really think if Harper was a regular playing every week he'd be an international regular too. But the fact is Given is a better keeper and when he's fit I would play him although I don't disagree with Sam's stance and am never displeased when he starts. His loyalty to the club is rare in this day and age.

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I've championed Harper in the past and think it's a good thing Sam is sticking with him, I really think if Harper was a regular playing every week he'd be an international regular too. But the fact is Given is a better keeper and when he's fit I would play him although I don't disagree with Sam's stance and am never displeased when he starts. His loyalty to the club is rare in this day and age.

 

Aye, we're lucky. Given is the better keeper, but Harper is a good keeper and certainly (IMO) could have been a regular in the England squad (although given England keepers that maybe isn't the compliment it otherwise might be) had he played more 1st team football here or somewhere else.

Edited by Fop
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