Can Guzan realistically challenge Given?
Now that Brad Guzan has officially signed a three year contract at the Villa, a lot of talk has begun regarding whether or not Guzan might realistically be our number one next season.
There are plenty of Guzan fans, and I certainly think he’s one of the very best number two goalkeepers in the Premiership. I believed he’d be off this summer, and he certainly has the talent to start for a good enough club (maybe Championship, a few Premiership sides) so for me it is a bit of a surprise to see him back at Villa Park, albeit a welcome one.
Lambert has spoken on the subject, and perhaps he has had a word with Guzan, and assured him that if he does perform well, he has a real chance of being our number one on a more permanent basis. Last season must have been tough for the player, after McLeish basically said that whatever happens Given would always, bar injury, be the man between the sticks. I doubt Guzan would agree to come back if he had no chance whatsoever of being our number one if he performs well:
“I’ve watched Brad and some of his games when he was in the team last year and he was excellent, 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.
The club needs two or three good goalkeepers, so when Shay comes back from the Euros it will be a big bonus and we’ll see what happens.”
Guzan did well when called upon last season, and has of course done well previously in various cup competitions. There are many who believe that Guzan should be our number one, and while I felt the right decision was made last season regarding Given taking his place back, this upcoming season brings up a new debate.
Given had a bit of a mare these past euros, though I feel a lot of that might have been due to an injury or two. This has only served to further support the argument of many of those in the pro Guzan camp though.
I really rate Guzan, but I’d still be very surprised if he starts the new campaign as our number one (barring injury). If he is then great, because in Lambert’s eyes he would have deserved it, but it would still be a bit of a shock personally speaking. Given is on a lot of money, and while the amount of wages paid shouldn’t equal a guaranteed place, it still makes little sense to have him as our back-up keeper. Both keepers have their weaknesses, and it will be interesting to see how Given performs this season. If he does continue to struggle, then the calls for Guzan will only increase.
Where do you all stand? Do you think Guzan can realistically challenge Given?
As per, feel free to let us know.