Saturday 24 March 2018

The Given dilemma: who said what and when

May 20, Dublin

Reports for Ireland duty and undergoes opening training session of Euro 2012 build-up.

May 21, Dublin

Fails to complete session after picking up knee injury. FAI play down fears about Given's injury, stating that he's not at risk of missing Euro 2012.

May 22, Dublin

Giovanni Trapattoni is riled by suggestions that Given may seek to play in the Lansdowne Road send-off against Bosnia.

"I am idiot. He is idiot and I am idiot also (if he plays and gets injured). Why run this risk? It's serious" -- Giovanni Trapattoni

May 25, London

Visits renowned knee specialist Dr Andy Williams and tweets his satisfaction afterwards.

"All good news ref my knee. Just gotta rest for a few days and then back training next week. Thanks for all the kind messages" -- Shay Given

May 26, Dublin

Misses the 1-0 Lansdowne Road send-off against Bosnia as Keiren Westwood and David Forde deputise. Before the squad depart for their Italian training camp, he appears upbeat as he details his visit to an English knee specialist.

"There is no major problem with the ligaments or anything. If the Euros had started today, I would have played" -- Given

May 28, Montecatini

After missing two days of training, returns ahead of schedule and speeds up recovery with some kicking, although his knee requires ice afterwards.

May 29, Montecatini

Despite not playing in a friendly game against a local Tuscan outfit, is included on official 23-man squad list delivered to UEFA by the FAI for Euro 2012.

May 31, Montecatini

Undergoes medical assessment before completing energetic training session and later is in good spirits talking to the media. Trapattoni confirms he wants him to prove his well-being against Hungary.

"The proof is in the pudding when you can train like that and dive around with no problems" -- Given

June 1, Montecatini

Takes part in full training session.

June 2, Budapest

Sits out training because he has blisters on his big toes.

"I just felt it was better to leave it" -- Given

"One day without training is not a problem. Shay will play on Monday, sure" -- Trapattoni

June 3, Budapest

Trains on the eve of friendly against Hungary and is in fairly buoyant form.

"The knee's totally fine now, there's no fluid and it's totally back to normal and that's a big relief. Of course there are doubts if it's hurting or if there's swelling, that's just normal" -- Given

June 4, Budapest

Given plays for the first 45 minutes of the 0-0 draw against Hungary -- his first appearance since the end of the Premier League season 22 days earlier. He makes a hat-trick of fine saves, but it is unclear whether his replacement at half-time was scheduled and he is clearly unhappy afterwards.

June 5, Gdynia

Ireland hold an open training session, but Given barely contributes and doesn't even undertake the gentle lap of honour to thank the 12,000 local football supporters. The manager confirms it had always been the plan to restrict Given to 45 minutes against Hungary.

"Thank God, it is only a rest" -- Trapattoni

June 6, Gdynia

Ireland's players have a rest day and goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly confirms that Given will be fit to face Croatia, despite fears of of a fresh calf injury. "He could play tonight," says Kelly, who confusingly adds that he will wait until the following morning before deciding if Given can train.

"Wild horses wouldn't stop him playing against Croatia" -- Alan Kelly

Yesterday, Gdynia

Given appears for training wearing runners, but the majority of his 90-minute session, alone with Kelly, is withheld from public view. Later switches to boots for energetic 15-minute stint at the end. Leaves without offering comment.

"Today Shay rests because he knows his body. I think he is ready to play. Everything is good. He decide to walk sometime yes and sometime no because he knows" -- Marco Tardelli

Irish Independent

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