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Who Should be First Choice Goalkeeper at Manchester City this Season?


City boss Roberto Mancini has a pretty nice problem on his hands come the start of the Premier League season as he has arguably two of the league’s best keepers both vying for a starting position at Eastlands. Joe Hart and Shay Given, both full internationals and fit to start the season, aren’t used to bench work, have enjoyed top form in recent campaigns and will stand for nothing less than the #1 come the start of the season.

As Hart looks to be the England #1 for the next decade given David James’ age and step down to the Championship, Given, 11 years older at 34, realizes that he only has a limited number of years left and has recently expressed his desire to play week in, week out at City – neither top keeper looking to relent the starting spot to the other.

As much as Mancini will love the healthy competition between his two brilliant players, he’ll soon have to decide who his starter will be and risk alienating the other as they languish on the bench.

Hart thrived on loan last season at Birmingham City as did Given in Manchester before suffering a season ending shoulder injury in the Spring. Both are excellent shot stoppers with quick reactions while Given obviously has more experience at club and international level due to his age. Hart is the taller keeper by 4-5 in. and seems to possess the ability to control his box as good as or better than Given can.

If Mancini awards the starting spot to Given (which would be the obvious choice largely because he’s done nothing to loose it), one option for Hart would be to go back out on loan in order to stay playing first team football each week. As far as a potential suitor for Hart’s services, I’d imagine Premier League clubs would be queuing up to secure the England international even if it’s only for a short time.

If you’re a City supporter, who would you like to see starting for your club come the opening weekend clash v Tottenham?

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  1. jimmy

    August 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

    obviously anyone who is choosing hart over given is believing in all the hype by the english tabloids as per usual hart is talented i dont dispute that but 1 season does not make you the best keeper in the world and you only have to study the best keepers through history they all got better as they got more experience kahn,casillas,shilton,seaman,schmeical,cesar the list goes on hart’s time will come but not just yet city will need given in goal the problem they will have is in front of given namely toure and lescott so if you want to jeer players that signed ‘just’ for the money start with those 2 should never have let dunne go as he proved last season for aston villa and yes i am irish and i will defend our lads because they have performed season after season in probably the most physical league in the world

  2. Steviep

    August 2, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Joe Hart 4 me,people comment about experience he’s been playing between the sticks since he was 14! Training with David James,Ray Clemence,Shay Given! Joe’s got the height,agility and confidence to come off his line and claim the ball. P.S Germanys keeper had a good world cup and how old was he???

  3. t benson

    August 2, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Joe Hart !!!!!

  4. Matthew Reed

    August 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Interesting to me what a landslide this is for Hart. Only because the fact that Given is proven and was wonderful last season. Hart was good last year as well but that was his only “great” year, while Given needs to take off his socks to count his.

    The Manchester Evening news ran a survey and 65% or so preferred Hart.

    For me and I am CTID, I will also say Hart but only for this reason; if you can’t have both then eventually you are going to have to hand the box to the kid. If you keep loaning him out, you could very well risk him not wanting to come back at all and leave on free transfer at the end of his contract. So my logic dictates that if you are going to have to make that decision, even if Given is the better option for 2010-2011, you have to give it to the kid sometime, might as well be now.

    Then again, my job is not on the line for this years results so the logic is alot easier to deal with.

    Transfer Given, give the kid the #1 kit.

  5. The Soccer Sage

    August 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Shay Given. No doubt about it. If you’re pushing to “win the league”, as Mancini has stated, you go with Mr. Given.

  6. luke payne

    August 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    wtf why are all use morons saying hart? he had one good season at birmingham. given has had nearly a decade of good seasons.hart is still only 23 he has time to practise.given is a brilliant keeper.

  7. mitch

    August 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    saw Hart last night and he looked HORRIBLE!

  8. Rob McCluskey

    August 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    One good season for Hart and all of a sudden people think hes better than Given?

    Man City spent £8m on Given and he was a bargin, let’s not forget they have a player with international and champions league experience in goal for them who also won Premiership goalkeeper of the decade. He’s in his prime and is an amazing shot stopper, anyone that tries to pick faults with his game obviously doesn’t realise that he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

    • paul

      August 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      Could’nt have put it better myself. Given for me all the way, sorry Joe your time will come, dont panic. CTWD

  9. JT

    August 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Hart, without question.

  10. Poker Rakeback

    August 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I think Given is the better keeper and I think he will be number 1. Hart is too good to be a number 2 though, they should loan him to Arsenal with a clause in his contract that allows him to go back to Man City if Given gets injured.

    • Jesse Chula

      August 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm


      Good feedback. I agree and think that’s what will ultimately happen. Mancini’s no dummy. He’ll realize that dropping Given for Hart right off the bat is too much of a risk given City’s high profile upcoming season.

      He won’t want to risk Hart as his #1 but will understand Hart’s need to play first team football. All variables point to a loan spell at a top 7 or top 10 club with a clause allowing City to recall Hart at anytime.

    • Huh

      August 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      They can’t loan him to a team that will be challenging for a top 4 place, no chance!

      • Mark

        August 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

        agreed. if they were to loan him out it would be to a bottom half club. B’ham wanted to take him on loan again this year but City were burned by their keeper situation last year. I’m afraid Hart will be wasted on the bench unless Given gets injured.

        Curious to see how Mancini tries to keep all the egos in check, especially if they falter. Tevez, Adebayor and co. can’t be appreciating the talk of buying Balotelli, Dzeko and/or Torres.

  11. Smokey Bacon

    August 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Given judging by how poor Hart was on the US tour. Hart needs to establish himself at another club. Wenger should snap him up.

  12. Huh

    August 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    It has to be Given for me because Hart has not looked one bit comfortable in these pre session games up to now. He is only (I think) one year into a five year contract and I do not think he’s ready yet, he’s only 23 and has many yrs ahead of him in top flight football. If he failed at City, especially how the media are dying for them to crash and burn this season it could damage his confidence as they take every little thing to pieces and then they wonder why the England team is pants. Loan him out to a premier team and not those Txxts at Birmingham! Don’t forget a get out clause this time.

  13. Patrick

    August 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Jesse have you ever been to Manchester? Its a shithole.

    You write about these clubs as if they are some sort of paradise. Manchester is a SHITHOLE. Even worse then the Shithole Liverpool..

    as for City’s keeper situation. Its Given’s to lose. end of.
    Hart knows he is a back up. Given falters, then Hart can step in. But he is inexperienced. No raw amount of talent can undo experience, and at this point Given is leaps and bounds ahead of England’s #3.

    did I mention that Manchester is a shithole yet?

    • Jesse Chula

      August 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm


      What an interesting comment.

      No I haven’t been to Manchester, but would love to visit. I am in fact spending some time in the UK this fall and hope to see Manchester.

      To me it seems like a great city with a lot going for it in terms of history, culture, music, football and more. Where do you reside?

      Can’t imagine you’d like it if someone spoke that way about where you’re from.

      Lighten up my man.

      • Huh

        August 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

        Well I live in Manchester and can tell you that it is one of the best looking City’s in England only bettered by London . It has had massive investment over the last 14 or so since it was bombed by the IRA in the 90‘s. Patrick is simply a nob who is taking total shit. Probably comes from the City down the road that has had hardly any new investment at all and is a real shithole with one of the highest crime rates in the country not to mention unemployment levels and is known for being just this a dump. Welcome to Liverpool the embarrassment of the UK half of them don‘t consider themselves English but think the dump they live in is a country or maybe this is because they’re just thick.

        • The Gaffer

          August 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm

          I’ve been to Manchester and Liverpool – and while both cities hate each other on and off the football pitch, both cities have redeeming qualities. While Liverpool still is rough in many places, the city has seen a lot of redevelopment near the Liverpool dock. The city looks much different and much better than it used to, and it’s definitely on its way up.

          Manchester has also seen a lot of redevelopment. Just like Liverpool, there are some rundown areas, but both cities are on the way up.

          The Gaffer

    • Devils Advocate

      August 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Patrick…Your comments regarding the City of Manchester are out of order, borne out of ignorance and are therefore an irrelevance. I see nothing in Jesse’s article that elevates “the City of Manchester” perse. Your remarks are unbelievably childish, puerile and the sort of thing I’d expect to see on Yahoo Sport. I suggest you go there with your drivel or at the very least, keep said comments to the subject at hand.

      I come from Manchester originally and whilst it’s no way the pearl of the UK, it doesn’t deserve to be given such a tag. No doubt you’re really proud of making yourself look an idiot in front of all readers.

  14. Catherine

    August 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Hart for me, I think he’s a better keeper than Given and a real Blue, here before the money.

  15. Zorrin Drax

    August 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Given, followed by Kasper Scmeichel (if he was still here).

    The games Scmeichel played at the start of the Sven era were fantastic,it looked like nobody would ever score against us, The win at home over Man Utd was us sneeking a goal, followed by pure Kasper heroics. He always looked dodgy, but I don’t recall him picking too manu balls out of his net.

    Hart reminds me of the bad old days. Given was Hughes’ best signing. I like that Joe is a confident and ambitious young man, but he needs to relax. We were shown up for not having decent goalkeeper cover last season, and a club with ambition needs two quality keepers.

  16. ManC

    August 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Hart Premier Games and Given for Europa League

  17. Greg

    August 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm


    Given is a better pure shot stopper, but his distribution is shit. He doesn’t command his box very well, and he’s poor on coming out for crosses. He’s also getting older. I think Hart’s the future and I’d hate to lose him.

    Given will earn you a couple points throughout the year making great saves, either in the run of play or by stopping penalties, but I think Hart is the better overall keeper.

  18. J.Evans

    August 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Hart by miles. Don’t rate Given, he can be lazy and does seem to parry the ball out into danger more than he holding on or putting out to safety. Harts better from set pieces too.

  19. mark

    August 1, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    gotta be hart. he can be a mainstay at the club for years to come. mancini keeps stressing youth and its importance in reference to the pending balotelli transfer, why not go the same route with the keeper situation?

  20. Dave R

    August 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm


  21. steve'o

    August 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Hart for me.

    • Poo

      September 18, 2010 at 11:56 am

      up man unied

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