Stephen Ireland has had a terrible last 12 months of his career, but now he’s at Newcastle United on loan through the end of the season, where he is wanted and needed.
Stephen Ireland – at the Benton training grounds
The bad news is that it may be another full month before Ireland can start to play again, but he’s had his first interview at Newcastle with the local Evening Chronicle today, and this is what he had to say:
“It’s been very unfortunate to have two managers who didn’t really fancy me.” “They didn’t want me there, support me or even give me a chance.”
“I didn’t have five or six games in a row in 18 months.”
“You can’t work that way and be out for so long, and then expect everything at once.” “It’s been difficult. I haven’t played consecutively for five or six games, and hopefully I can do that here.” It’s a massive relief to get away because I wasn’t playing.”
Stephen has been really unlucky, because Italian Roberto Mancini (Man City) and Frenchman Gerard Houllier (Aston Villa) hardly gave him a fair crack of the whip, to show what he could do while he was at his two previous clubs.
And of course the lad was Manchester City’s Player of the Season in 2009, and we know this lad can play a bit, and at that time the 24 year-old was one of the bets central midfielders in the Premier League.
We always thought at that time he would be great at Newcastle, and to think we’ve got him and could even sign his for a low £8M in the summer is unbelievable.
But Stephen currently has a knee injury ( we had thought it was a hamstring injury?), and it may be a while before he can start training at Newcastle:
“It’s very frustrating,” “I’m not saying I want to play every minute of every game – I’m here to be part of the team and the squad.”“I want to crack on and be involved straight away – it’s not nice sitting in the physio room.” “You don’t want to watch the lads training, you want to be among it.”
“I saw a specialist the other day, and he reckoned it would be a month with my knee.” “But I’ve had an injection, so hopefully I’ll be able to do some heavy training.” “I’m very eager to go.” “I’m a good healer, and really determined to get going and get myself quicker.”
Ireland has played 170 times for Man City with a good 23 goals and he appeared just 12 times for Aston Villa, since moving there last August.
His last game for Aston Villa was the 3-0 defeat against Liverpool in December, but like any good professional all he wants to do now is play for Newcastle, as many times as possible before the end of the seaosn.
“It feels so long since I was playing games.” “This is a new challenge. It’s a lovely city and a nice training ground. It’s really good here, and I want to be part of everything.”
“I’m really excited – I just want to come out of the traps and play to the best of my ability.” “Hopefully I can bring some of my ability to the team.”
Stephen will be welcomed to Newcastle with open arms by the fans, and of course this lad has shown he can put the ball into the back of the net too.