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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 29 July, 2014

Dunphy: I wouldn’t have Shay Given back for Ireland

The RTÉ pundit has accused the Aston Villa goalkeeper of being “overweight and unfit” during Euro 2012.

Image: @Inpho/Cathal Noonan

EAMON DUNPHY SAYS that Shay Given committed a ‘crime’ by playing through injury for Ireland during last summer’s European Championships.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Sport At Seven on Monday evening, the pundit was responding to the news that Given has made himself available for selection to Giovanni Trapattoni, despite retiring from international football in the summer.

Dunphy is adamant that Kieren Westwood should keep his place between the sticks for the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria in March, and that Given should not be allowed back into the fold.

“(Given is) not in the Villa team and I think we have to be respectful of Westwood, who is the number one goalkeeper,” Dunphy said.

“I think Given looked overweight and was clearly unfit during the European Championships. I don’t think that’s a forgivable crime. I wouldn’t have him.”

Neither Given nor Westwood is first choice at their current Premier League clubs.

The 36-year-old lost his place to Brad Guzan at Aston Villa and has only featured twice in the top flight, while all of Westwood’s games at Sunderland have come in the League Cup.

Given revealed at the weekend that he has spoken to Trapattoni about a potential return in the green jersey.

“I have spoken to Giovanni and he knows I am available.” the Donegal man wrote in his column in the Irish Sun.

”He is going to stick with the new players against Poland and I understand that.

“Keiren Westwood, David Forde and Darren Randolph are the goalkeepers in the frame for that game. I wish them well. I am not looking to stand on their toes. But, as I told Giovanni, I am here if one of them gets injured.”

POLL: Should Shay Given make a return for Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign? >

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