mo' problems

Show me the money, Randy: Given urges Villa chief to splash cash

Donegal native says the Villains lack strength in depth required for the long Premier League season.

IRELAND GOALKEEPER Shay Given said Aston Villa need an overhaul of talent ahead of next season, after a poor Premier League campaign.

The Birmingham outfit sit in 15th spot in the table, just eight points above the drop, and the Donegal man said manager Alex McLeish needed to get the club to spend big in the off-season to improve on the pitch.

“I think we need to get a few more wins under our belt this season and hopefully the manager will get some funds to strengthen the squad in the summer,” Given said at the Soccerex convention.

“We had a lot of young players on our bench the other day. We do need more strength in depth because the Premiership is a long hard campaign and if you haven’t got a big squad you can get found out. In the Arsenal game we had six kids on the bench and that must be frustrating from the manager’s point of view that he hasn’t got more experienced players to call upon.”

Given’s former Manchester City team are locked in a title battle with rivals Manchester United, but the 35-year-old shot-stopper was quick to praise his former team-mate and nemesis between the sticks Joe Hart. Despite taking his place in goal at Eastlands, Given believes that Hart is one of the three best keepers in the world.

“Well he’s got to be up there it’s hard to say the best but he’s definitely up there,” he said.  ”He’s definitely in the top three in my opinion and football is all about opinion. People will say that someone else is the best but I certainly think he’s in the top three goal keepers in the world and he’s getting better and better every season and if he keeps improving then he’s going to be around for a long, long time.”

Given added that the title race between the two sides from Manchester ensured a much more watchable Premier League this season.

“Well it’s very interesting you know for everyone really. It’s much better than some team running away with it; it’s much more exciting for the Premier League,” he said.  ”Everyone is looking forward to who picks up the trophy. It’s going to go right to the wire I think so it makes for an interesting end to the season.”

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