GUARDIAN – Shay Given: ‘Do you ever get over being dropped for an FA Cup final?’

Aston Villa’s veteran goalkeeper was left out of Newcastle’s 1999 defeat to Manchester United by Ruud Gullit and owns a winner’s medal he cares little for but is relishing the chance to end the Wembley pain against Liverpool• Christian Benteke: ‘I am happy because I play how I want to play’Shay Given has been trying his best to put a positive spin on his three previous trips to Wembley when it dawns upon the Aston Villa goalkeeper that he is kidding nobody as he dances around a question about whether the stadium actually holds any happy memories for him. “It was a politician’s answer, wasn’t it,” Given says, laughing.The truth is that Given is desperate for his luck to change in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Wembley. Given was in the Newcastle United team that lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the FA Cup final in 1998, dropped from the starting XI at Wembley the following year when Ruud Gullit’s side were beaten by Manchester United – a decision that still rankles with him – and an unused Manchester City substitute during their triumph over Stoke City in 2011. Continue reading…