Before we talk about Everton’s amazing start to the 2012-13 Premiership season, let’s talk about the other side of Saturday’s surprising result out of Villa Park.
Everton’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa tells us the Toffies’ opening win over Manchester United was no fluke – which you knew if you watched that match. Belgian international Marouane Fellaini looked terrific again, scoring his second goal in as many matches for the Goodison Park side.
But let’s drool all over David Moyes’ side another day.
For now, let’s talk about Shay Given. And specifically, about what another clunker from Aston Villa’s No. 1 will mean for we Yanks. Because, of course, we should always talk about what these things mean for we Yanks.
Brad Guzan (pictured) is the man in waiting around Villa Park goal. He’s also the presumed second man in U.S. goal, although Nick Rimando tends to get to more matches, somewhat as a matter of logistics.
Guzan, 27, toyed with the idea of moving away from Aston Villa this year. But management convinced him he would have a real chance to start for Villa, and that holding steady was the way to go.
Well here we are. Given looked shaky at best for Ireland at Euro 2012. Against that lesser stable backdrop we arrive at Saturday, when he was completely at fault on Everton’s second goal.
So … ?
Things are not going well for the Birmingham side. There’s noise about American owner Randy Lerner and the need for a little wallet opening and some quick, transfer window hocus pocus.
But the move manager Paul Lambert could make immediately, the one that might boost confidence and won’t cost a dime, is Guzan in goal for Given.
If it happens, the U.S. backstopping becomes that much stronger, because Guzan needs games at a high level. Let’s watch close and see if it’s his time.