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Given still managing to keep up appearances

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Posted by Azania Wednesday, May 6, 2015 8:58:00 AM

According to Premier League.com, Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given made history on Saturday by becoming the first player to appear under 17 different managers in the Barclays Premier League.
The Republic of Ireland International's fine form during Villa's run to the FA Cup final, along with a costly error from regular first-choice Brad Guzan in the 3-2 loss to Manchester City, persuaded Tim Sherwood to select Given in the league for the first time in his tenure when Everton visited Villa Park.
And the 39-year-old marked the landmark occasion by coming out on the winning side,Villa triumphing 3-2 thanks to a brace from Christian Benteke and a second-half Tom Cleverley strike that edged them closer to BPL survival.
Sherwood's decision ended a long wait for Given's 441st BPL appearance, the veteran having last featured in league action for Villa in the same fixture on 25 August, 2012, when Everton prevailed 3-1.
A long wait for selection punctuated by last season's loan spell with Middlesbrough in the Championship echoed Given's initial steps in the Barclays Premier League with Blackburn Rovers.
Following a successful youth career in Scotland with Celtic, Given moved to Ewood Park in 1994 but was unable to break into the first team, going on to spend time out on loan in the lower divisions with Swindon Town and Sunderland.
His breakthrough in the BPL finally came when Blackburn travelled to Wimbledon on 14 December 1996. They were beaten 1-0 on that occasion but Given kept the first of 112 top-flight clean sheets in a 0-0 draw with Derby County a fortnight later.

Parkes opportunity

Those were Given's only two matches for Rovers and came under Tony Parkes, the man who also handed a debut to his Republic of Ireland colleague Damien Duff, who now sits level in second place alongside the goalkeeper's former Newcastle United and Manchester City team-mate James Milner on 16 managers.

Given's managers

Club

Manager

Aston Villa

Tim Sherwood

Paul Lambert

Alex McLeish

Man City

Roberto Mancini

Mark Hughes

Newcastle United

Joe Kinnear

Chris Hughton

Kevin Keegan

Sam Allardyce

Nigel Pearson

Glenn Roeder

Graeme Souness

John Carver

Sir Bobby Robson

Ruud Gullit

Kenny Dalglish

Tony Parkes

Given made the switch to St James' Park ahead of the 1997/98 season, finally playing for Kenny Dalglish, the man who brought him to Blackburn but left before his debut.

During his time in the north-east, Given established himself as one of the finest goalkeepers in England's top division, keeping 91 clean sheets in 354 matches, despite some turbulent times for the club.

After Dalglish's departure in 1998, Given played under Ruud Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan and Joe Kinnear at Newcastle – a managerial turnover that also featured caretaker spells for John Carver, Nigel Pearson and Chris Hughton.

Milner and Duff also played for the bulk of these managers at St James' Park. England midfielder Milner joined under Robson and left before Keegan made way for Kinnear, meaning he missed Hughton's subsequent caretaker spell but featured for Carver and Pearson.

Players to have served under the most managers in the BPL

Player

Managers

Shay Given

17

Damien Duff

16

James Milner

16

Nick Barmby

15

Darren Bent

15

Marcus Bent

15

Stephen Carr

15

Nicolas Anelka

14

Richard Dunne

14

Kieron Dyer

14

Aaron Hughes

14

Andy O'Brien

14

Hermann Hreidarsson

14

Luke Young

14

Duff was signed by Souness and returned to Newcastle under Roeder after a spell at Chelsea with Claudio Ranieri and Jose Mourinho. His career with the Magpies followed the same path as Given's from that point, with the addition of him playing for Alan Shearer at the conclusion of the 2008/09 season when the club was relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

By that stage, Given had been signed by Mark Hughes for Manchester City. Hughes' successor at the Etihad Stadium, Roberto Mancini, eventually plumped for Joe Hart as his No 1  ahead of Given.

That meant the Irishman was unable to add to 50 BPL appearances for City, paving the way for him to sign for Alex McLeish's Villa and continue when Paul Lambert replaced his fellow Scot in the West Midlands.

 

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