Euro 2016 Dreams Dashed for Shay Given

Shay Given has had a rollercoaster week; after news started circulating on April 22nd putting forward the rumour that the 40 year old could still be in with a chance of making the final 23 to travel to France, a shock injury looks like it’s stolen that chance away once more.

Although his form at Tottenham on the 18th didn’t manage to stop Spurs from walking away with a 4-0 victory, the seasoned stopper had become the 12th oldest goalkeeper to play within the Premier League. That latest achievement, accompanied with the 133 caps he’s won since his debut more than 20 years earlier, it seemed more than reasonable that Given would make the final team line-up. But before that hype could even begin to pick up pace and grip Ireland’s fans, a groin injury during Stoke’s match against Manchester City puts the future of his international career in jeopardy. 

As the Irish professional limped off at half time, spectators were left wondering whether the goalie would return during the second half, however it wasn’t to be. A and the post match commentators only confirmed the worse when they reported that Given had suffered a groin injury. Even though soft tissue injuries can heal in a couple of weeks given the right rest and treatment, more serious damage can result in prolonged time out from play. Even if the tissue does mend fast, bothersome problems can continue, and given the lack of match time before the end of season, Given may not have enough time to prove his form even if he does manage to return. 

While Ireland have been successful in comparison to their fellow Group E teams, such as Italy who were badly beaten by Germany 29th March, that isn’t to say Ireland aren’t in need of all the experience they can get. In 2012, when the Republic of Ireland were listed in Group C, they failed to make the the quarter finals having been eliminated alongside Croatia. As a consequence, there is a lot to prove this time round; and while their odds aren’t that favourable on Betway’s sports betting site, fans still aren’t deterred and keep on hoping for victory this time round. 

Even though we won’t know until summer whether Ireland can do just that, one thing is for sure, it will soon become clear whether Shay Given has managed to not only become one of the oldest goalies, but also part of the Euro 2016 squad, or whether he has had to watch his international dreams crumble before him.

 

  • Loretta Pittman