If U.S. international Brad Guzan falls into bad form or has to recover his position following an injury at Aston Villa this year, the challenge apparently will not come from once-venerable Shay Given.
The Daily Mail has reported that the longtime Ireland international is on his way out of Villa Park, now bound for Doncaster.
If true, it’s quite a fall for the 37-year-old goalkeeper who has more than 100 caps for Ireland. A year ago, Given (pictured right) was Aston Villa’s starter, looking over his shoulder at the emerging American but still clearly the No. 1 at Villa Park.
Now he may be the man in the goal for a club just promoted into the English Championship, the country’s second tier.
Given became a highly respected figure in English soccer during long years of service at Newcastle. He spent two seasons at Manchester City (just before the coming off the high times around the Etihad) before signing on with Aston Villa.
Given’s 2011-12 season at Villa was unusually shaky by the standards he had long established; Given was frequently considered among the top 5 at his position in the Premier League. His performances at the 2012 European Championship did nothing to quash the fears that his best years were gone. Guzan needed little time at the beginning of the 2012-13 season to pull ahead and become the trusted starter at Villa Park.
This move also reaffirms Villa’s faith in Guzan, also the current backup to Tim Howard in U.S. goal.
The Internet exploded at around 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday after Jamie Vardy — yes, Jamie Vardy — broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record for most consecutive games with a goal.
[ WATCH: The goal | The game — Leicester City vs. Manchester United ]
Yes, an Englishman is back atop the charts. An Englishman who was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before heading to Leicester.
He’s perhaps the reminder, as Rio Ferdinand Tweeted below, that the most unlikely of scenarios is still not impossible.
He did it. He actually did it.
Jamie Vardy made Premier League history on Saturday, scoring for the 11th consecutive game to become the first player in history to achieve that magnificent feat.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Tied with Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy heading into Leicester’s clash against United on Saturday, it took Vardy just 24 minutes to set the new record as Christian Fuchs played a delicate ball in-behind United’s defense and Vardy did the rest.
[ MORE: Can Vardy, Leicester achieve unthinkable? ]
Watch the video below to see the King Power Stadium erupt as a truly memorable moment arrived.
Now, the next record for Vardy to break is from the 1931-32 English top-flight season, before the PL was formed. Sheffield United’s Jimmy Dunne scored in 12-straight games way back then.
Anyway, congratulations Mr. Vardy for making PL history.
This was an all-timer.
Bournemouth came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit only to watch Ross Barkley hand Everton a one-goal lead with a score in the final minute of stoppage time.
[ MATCH RECAP: Bournemouth 3-3 Everton ]
But after fans were cleared from the field, Junior Stanislas provided the dramatic answer for Bournemouth to force a 3-3 draw at Dean Court.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew tried hard not to throw shade on his former side, or at least put in a post-match press conference that choked down his passive aggression.
The Eagles thumped Newcastle United 5-1 on Saturday at Selhurst Park behind braces from Yannick Bolasie and James McArthur, as well as a tally from Wilfried Zaha.
[ MATCH RECAP: Crystal Palace 5-1 Newcastle United ]
And the former Newcastle boss held back, mostly, from further embarrassing his old side, instead heralding the starring role of former Sunderland forward Connor Wickham, who put in a Team of the Week performance despite not scoring himself.
“We caused problems everywhere,” Pardew said. “Connor Wickham gave a centre forward’s performance we always hoped he would. We were irresistible today.”
“We are sixth in the division because we are a good team, it was not about the opposition today. I have a lot of friends and family at Newcastle but I don’t want to say a lot about them because I get criticised whatever I say.”
Newcastle, for its part, was mostly useless after scoring early on a classy chip pass from Daryl Janmaat to Papiss Cisse. Could Steve McClaren be fired after just 14 games in charge? Newcastle’s 19th place status says it wouldn’t be unfair.
And after losing to Sunderland last week, Pardew doubled-down on his status as a Newcastle plague in the Northeast.