Big Sam: Given won't be happy
Sam Allardyce understands if Newcastle keeper Shay Given is not happy being on the bench.
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 28/09/07 9:18am
Sam Allardyce understands if Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given is not happy being on the bench.
Formerly the club's undisputed No.1, Given's only two appearances for The Magpies this season have come in the Carling Cup.
An injury to the Republic of Ireland international initially gave the gloves to Steve Harper, who has retained his place for Premier League games.
Allardyce draws comfort from having two quality keepers to select from, but accepts Given may be frustrated with the current situation.
"I chose Shay on Tuesday, but in reverse I would have picked Steven Harper for the Arsenal game if Shay had been playing regularly in the Premiership," said Allardyce.
"When you have got two outstanding goalkeepers the hardest part of the job is keeping one happy when one is not playing and the other one is in the team.
"That is the hardest part of management, but to have two such outstanding keepers is also comforting.
"Will Shay be happy on the bench? He cannot be. Impossible. Steve Harper is slightly better at it, but it is not about making a decision based on who will create more problems for me.
"It is all about what you think is the right thing, or the right goalkeeper, for that particular time."
Meanwhile, Magpies legend Alan Shearer feels Michael Owen can make a swift return from groin surgery.
Owen is being operated on by Dr Ulrike Muschaweck and the German surgeon once had Shearer playing again 11 days after a hernia operation.
Shearer told The Sun: "It's amazing how much time she takes off your recovery. And I came back as good as new."