We knew on Sunday night that it was ‘official’ as Shay had texted me on his mobile to say everything was going through but we didn’t want to be the first to report it in case of any glitches. It will be GREAT to see Shay on the field again and not on the bench doing what he does best. I think even City fans will be glad to see him playing again from what comments we’ve received so far. Credit to them for that. More hereIt speaks a lot of Aston Villa’s confidence in Shay to give him a 5-year contract. If you watch Brad Friedel get offered a 2-year deal at 40 then perhaps the days when keepers stop even at 40 are numbered. Could Van der Sar have done another 1-2 years? Probably. Shay’s Dad played as a goalkeeper till he was 48 but that’s not something Shay is going to emulate at Premiership level but I do believe health and fitness permitting, that he will hit the 40 mark like Brad Friedel and perhaps beyond.
Here’s a few quotes regarding Shay’s switch to Aston Villa:
Richard Dunne (Man City & Republic of Ireland): ”
“I think that over the years he’s been one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He’s probably the best shot stopper around, and I think that as a goalkeeper he’ll really help us. He’s always talking, encouraging people, telling them where to be watching, what to be doing and he keeps defenders on his toes. I think he’ll be good. I don’t think there’s anyone better than Shay. We’ve been international team mates for about 10 years now, he’s been outstanding.”
“I can’t remember him ever having a bad game. He’s a professional, always working hard to be at the top of his game, he’s always fit. He’s always first out on the training field, he’s a goalkeeper who likes to get involved in training.
You get a lot of goalies who like to sit out as they get closer to games, but Shay always wants to be involved – he’ll attempt to save every shot that’s thrown at him. He’s a good professional to have around the ground, and like I say I don’t think there’s many better than him in the world.”
“He’s not played many club games recently but he’s played every international. When he’s turned up he’s been brilliant. He played three or four internationals at the end of the season and he didn’t concede a goal.
“Shay, like I said, is the ultimate professional. Whether he’s playing or not he’s always keeping himself fit and charged, so I don’t think that’ll be a worry for him.”