With TLC, Stephen Ireland Can Be Great Again At Newcastle


Stephen Ireland has had a tough time of things over the last year.

Stephen Ireland – while still at Manchester City

And of course he wasn’t the only long term Manchester City player who was left out of the side, once Roberto Mancini arrived at Eastlands, and preferred the new expensive signings, to a player who had joined City in 2005 at the age of 18 from Cobh Ramblers.

There’s no doubt at all that Stephen is a gifted footballer, but he hasn’t been in his best form for these last 12 months- but he also hasn’t been given much of a chance either.

His unfortunate move to Aston Villa hasn’t been good for him, as the manager who signed him, Martin O’Neill, walked out on the club soon after Stephen was signed, as Martin also threw his dummy out of the pram.

We’ll never really know why he walked out,  but the conventional wisdom is that  American owner Randy Lerner  wouldn’t cough up enough transfer funds for O’Neill to spend.

And as soon as Frenchman Gerard Houllier took over the Aston Villa club in late September, he seemed to clash with a number of the players, and one of those players was Ireland, whom the former Liverpool manager said didn’t work hard enough.

Of course some of these things about Stephen being difficult  may even be true, but he hasn’t really been wanted at both Manchester City and Aston Villa over the last 12 months.

And this is where Newcastle come in, because he’ll be welcomed with open arms by the playing squad, led by captain Kevin Nolan.

He will be quickly integrated into the Newcastle way of doing things, and with some encouragement from new manager Alan Pardew, he could quickly regain his old form on Tyneside.

What Stephen needs on Tyneside is some Tender Loving Care.

And of course, great players on the Tyne are treated with god-like status, let’s be straight  about that – just look at the way a certain Mr. Ben Arfa has been embraced on Tyneside over the last six months.

Since the transfer fee will  already have been agreed between the clubs, in case Newcastle want to buy him in the summer,  it’s probably been set at around  £6M to £7M, and if indeed Stephen can recapture his old  form,  he could turn out to be another bargain buy for the Newcastle club.

Of course it may not happen, but we would expect the still only 24 year-old player to be warmly welcomed on Tyneside, and yes – it’s also wishful thinking that we  hope he can return to his best form –  wearing the famous black and white shirt of  Newcastle United.

Ireland  is a great player indeed, when playing at his best,  and we have to hope that’s exactly what we see from the Cork-born player during the rest of this season.

This all assumes the loan deal will go through in the next day, but today’s news that he is to have a medical at St. James’ Park today, now makes that look very likely.

If the deal goes through, then  we’ll welcome Stephen to the Newcastle club – with open arms.

Comments welcome.

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275 comments so far

  • IceIceGeordie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #1

    Hopefully all ends well.

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  • GAZ09

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #2

    Great player who i think would do really well for us

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  • toonfan76

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #3

    we need coosy info as soon as pos

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  • gorskino10

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #4

    We would be stupid to waste 6/7 Million on him he is worth nothing near that mark. He needs to work hard which he didnt do at Villa, but he could still fail his medical!

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  • joppadoni

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #5

    hes a funny looking cnut

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  • Indian Magpie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #6

    What is TLC

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  • joppadoni

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #7

    is it me or is he driving an imaginary car?

    brwrrrrr brrm urrrkkkkk. clunk.

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  • Indian Magpie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #8

    Got it

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  • gorskino10

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #9

    Tender Love & Care (TLC) Indian Magpie

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  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #10

    If he gets back to the form he was showing 2-3 seasons ago, he’d be worth every penny of the supposed 6-7 million

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  • NickeAlvaro

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #11

    I really look forward to seeing him happy and smiling in the B&W, if he can recapture his form, which I think he can!
    We will have one hell of a team in the making!

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  • toonfan76

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #12

    indian magpie@6 tender loving care

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  • GeordieDan

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #13

    Stephen Ireland on his day as a class act. I think we should really be able to get the best out of him here aswell.

    The great team ethic we have seems to rub off on everyone who comes here at the minute and its great to see.

    We’re starting to build one serious team again now. With everyone fit you’d fancy our chances against almost anyone.

    HWTL!

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  • gorskino10

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #14

    I dont think he can recapture his form but hey he will be smiling……because he is on 60/70k a week!

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  • Carl92

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #15

    He could potentially be unreal if he recaptures his man city form. Hes a great player in and around the box, very good foot work

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  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #16

    Why not ? @ gorskino10

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  • joppadoni

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #17

    TLC stands for :- Transgender Liberation and Care..

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  • boater

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #18

    Cut price deals on rejects, problem cases and injured players. You all seem happy to go along with it, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt – another body in I guess. It’s consolidation more than than a ambitious bid for improvement on what we already have.

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  • BlacknWhite Barmy

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #19

    seems like we go arounnd other teams looking at the treatment tables instead of playing form. Another bargain basement signing with the possiblity of a quick profit if it works out – or back to Villa if not.

    If this is what Pardew thinks will move us on, we are doomed.

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  • ilde2551

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #20

    ‘Stephen Ireland has had a tough time of things over the last year.’

    Imagine having to only earn 65k a week, twice of what i earn in a year. You seriously expect me to sympathise with that? Wow, my heart bleeds for him. Its a tough life being a footballer.

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  • fergie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #21

    His attitude and work rate is obviously a potential problem but if we can get the Stephen Ireland of 2 seasons ago then we have a real player on our hands. The good thing is that now we have a top quality defensive midfielder on our books, we can actually afford to have a creative centre mid alongside him with more emphasis on creating and less on defending. In so many games this season Tiote has practically been a one-man centre midfield, allowing his partner (often Nolan) to swan about further upfield. Jonas, Tiote, Ireland and Barton looks a pretty good midfield to me! Plus Ben Arfa when he comes back! Just need to make sure his attitude is spot on and let him know he’s not here for a 6-month holiday. I’m sure Barton will put him in line if he’s out of order.

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  • sephir0

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #22

    I think we will see something from Ireland, he doesnt wanna be at villa, and he knows if he dont play well for us he’s guna end up back there. I have faith we can bring the best out of him, as it seems that is thoughts of other newcastle fans. some are still sceptical which is fair enough due to his form in the last 12 months, it’s a gamble but a gamble which is in our favour…. we’ll either sign him up or ship him back.

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  • Stuart

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #23

    Gorskins opinion is obviously based on the scouting trips he has undertaken over the course of Irelands career, which form a comprehensive analysis of the player.

    Or he could be an idiot spouting bollocks.

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  • toonfan09

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #24

    i thought it stood for tables ladders and chairs

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  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #25

    If players don’t want to move there’s not a lot the board can do. God I hate the transfer window, everyone is overpriced. Why can’t they just go back to the way it was, surely it must be deemed as prevention of trade and therefore breake European law

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  • Indian Magpie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #26

    @ boater
    @BlacknWhite Barmy

    Lets reserve judgement shall we

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  • gorskino10

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #27

    @Irish-Toon because when some players hit bad form they usually have good attitude and are posistive to get back into the good form, but Ireland attitute is questionable and if things dont go his way early on he will just do like what he did at Villa and go into his shell and play aweful.

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  • Herbies Bonnet

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #28

    Villa and Man City play a totally different system of football. Ireland simply doesnt fit into the system at Villa. Craig Bellamy was on sky not too long ago and commented on Ireland. He said Ireland was the best player he had ever played with and mentioned that the Villa system was stiffling Ireland as a player.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #29

    idle

    you beat me to it, must be a mare thinking of how to spend £65 a week !!! Meanwhile in the real world !!!

    I think Coozy probably meant ireland and his entourage were the 3 people.

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  • joppadoni

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #30

    cant see him getting 60k from us. maybe we are paying only part of his wages?

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  • Herbies Bonnet

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #31

    @ Joppadoni

    Yeah but he’s entitled to his opinion, it may not be the same as ours but thats what he said, he has more knowledge of Ireland than anyone on here and he says he’s the best!

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  • Toon1978

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #32

    The thing is, this is only a loan deal so i can not understand why some of you are against bringing him in. Basically, if he ends up a lazy arse then he goes back to Villa but on the other hand if he ends up a success then we should go on to sign him. Its a win win situation for the club. Stop the gloom and stay positive even if Ireland is our only signing today or tomorrow for that matter.

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  • colwell

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #33

    I can`t believe he is only 24, with a hairline like that you`d think he was in his 50`s lol

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  • GAZ09

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #34

    Give Ireland a chance, i remember everyone running Barton down for a long time when he signed

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  • BlacknWhite Barmy

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #35

    @ Indian NO – LOL

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  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #36

    @gorskino10 he didn’t really get a chance to play over the last whether it was at City or Villa

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  • DarloGeordie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #37

    must have been a long holiday for him because he looks black on that photo, good player great addition to the team end of…..

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  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #38

    *last year

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  • donegalmag

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #39

    the only player to look anyway good at villa this season has been thier keeper, cant blame ireland for underperforming..its hard to motivate yourself when the rest of your team are c##p…
    the team morale at the Toon alone should be enough to kick start this guy..from what ive read houlier has alienated most of the villa players since he arived even the ones he signed…this guy has got a better footballing brain than rout, guthrie and smith put together….think we gonna see him back to his best with the freedom we create in midfield through the hard work of tiote and barton..look what they have done for nolan…who would have thought he would be up to 10goals this season.
    Lets give this lad a chance…with the toon army behind him he will only grow in confidence….

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  • burnsie

    Jan 30, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #40

    @Irish Toon, dont listen to gorskino10 mate…he nahs nowt about football. thats all he can say…irelands crap, he not worth that, he wont re-capture his form, etc.

    gorskino lad, how many times…he cant lose raw, natural talent! its getting embarrassing now mate lol.

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