Given not guaranteed to be Villa No 1

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Shay Given faces a fight to keep his place in the Aston Villa first team ahead of the new Premier League season after the midlands club re-signed Brad Guzan.

Shay Given faces a fight to keep his place in the Aston Villa first team ahead of the new Premier League season after the midlands club re-signed Brad Guzan.

The American goalkeeper was allowed to leave Villa Park at the end of last season following the expiration of his contract, but he has failed to get fixed up with a new club since.

New manager Paul Lambert has now revealed that the player, who only made eight league appearances for Villa in the past four seasons, has virtually been enticed back to the club with the promise that he will be given a fair crack of the whip to battle it out with Given for the number one spot.

“I’ve watched Brad and some of his games when he was in the team last year and he was excellent,” Lambert said.

“I know he’s always had that stigma of being the No 2 behind some really good goalkeepers here. But when you come back at the start of the season, nobody knows what’s going to happen and it depends on whoever does well. Brad played very well the time he was in and maybe he found himself a bit unlucky to be back out.

““Brad played very well the time he was in and maybe he found himself a bit unlucky to be back out. The club needs two or three good keepers so when Shay comes back after the Euros it will be a big bonus and we’ll see what happens.”

Villa open their Premier League season against newly-promoted West Ham United at Upton Park on Saturday, August 18.