Aston Villa are being severely punished for perpetrating the worst impression of a football match in the history of the English top flight. Cosmic displeasure has made itself manifest as a hamstring tear to goalkeeper Shay Given, who's one of the only players on the squad who've looked anything like competent so far this season. Villa manager Alex McLeish has confirmed that the Republic of Ireland international will be out of action for a month following the injury sustained during the club's 1-0 loss to United in the aforementioned worst match ever:
It is disappointing to lose Shay in such circumstances but, unfortunately, these things happen in football. We have to meet these challenges and we will. We have total faith in Brad who, as I said after the game against Manchester United on Saturday, can be proud of the way he stepped in when Shay had to come off.
We will need within the football club for everybody to stick together and that strength of unity will help massively.
As McLeish says, that means a month of American backup Brad Guzan for the Villans. Guzan's hardly a spectacular player, but he's unlikely to be a liability - that role falls to the defence he'll be standing behind. Without Given bailing them out all of the time, Villa's position in the table could drop pretty quickly.
For more on the Given injury and all things Villa, check out 7500 to Holte.