Both Big Challenge And Opportunity For Ireland On Tyneside

Joey Barton has come out today, and said his fomrer team-mate Stephen Ireland has a big chance on Tyneside.

Stephen Ireland – in his best form he’d walk into the side

But Joey has also said it will be a big challenge for Stephen to make the Newcastle first team.

Stephen arrived ion the Tyne amid the sensational selling of Andy Carroll on the last day of the window, but he;s been a great player in his time at Manchester City, and we’ve liked the look of Stephen for some time now.

Ireland will be hoping to win a permanent stay on Tyneside after joining on loan – and if Newcastle pick up the option to sign him in the summer, he will probably cost the club around £8M in the transfer market.

Stephen said yesterday he hopes to resume full training late next week, and should be fit for the game at Stoke on 19th March, that’s 4 weeks today.

Barton told the Evening Chronicle today:

“I worked with Stevie when we were at Man City together. “He’s a player with great quality.”

“Obviously, he lost his way a bit at Villa. He’s a player who needs a little bit of love, an arm around his shoulder, and people to get behind him.”“I think if he can get that at this club, he’ll be a good acquisition for us.”

“It’s up to him to prove he deserves to play with a great bunch of lads but, knowing him as I do, I don’t think he’ll have any problems settling in.”

“Hopefully, we can give him a platform to go out and showcase his talents again.” “But as I say, this isn’t an easy side to get in any more.”

Barton came out earlier in the week to urge Mike Ashley to invest the £35M the club got for Andy Carroll.

It would really help to strengthen the squad this summer, but since Mike never utters a single word to the fans,  we have no idea what he’s even thinking.

It’s really a very sad state of affairs at the club,  when the owner will not even speak to the faithful Newcastle fans – surely the Newcastle hierarchy knows that?

Why Mike cannot issue a few words once a month or so,  about what’s going on at the club – in broad terms – we have no idea, but that would increase the communication with his customers, which has been zero for far too long.

Barton added:

“We’ve got some good players – your Danny Guthries, your Cheiks, and your Nobbys and myself who can all play in there.

“And he’ll probably have a fight on his hands for a place.”

“He’ll have known that before he came here, and hopefully he can force his way in the team and show us what he’s all about.”

There’s no doubt that if Stephen can produce the form he’s capable of,  he can be a starter at Newcastle before the end of the season, and we’re sure he knows that too.

Comments welcome.

72 comments so far

  • RUNAWAY777

    Feb 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #1

    what 4 weeks away,if hes ok

  • Nufc-83

    Feb 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #2

    Ill probably get shot down for this opinion but for me if he recaptures anything like his old form he should take nolans place. I really like nolans attitude and hes club captain etc but for me he does nothing in a game apart from score a goal. OK i know you will say what is the most important thing in football scoring but he has 9 i think o far yet joey has 5 so for me you play joey central attacking and he wouldnt be far off nolans tally so far yet he would give you so much more in terms off assists and link up play which nolan does none of the above really struggles to cover the pitch now as his legs are going. For me i would kepp joey out right and see what form ireland is in if he is back to even 70% of his best then he should go ahead of Nolan. When HBA back i would drop a st and have him play off the front man probaly being best or ameobi.

  • hadthetshirt

    Feb 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #3

    4 weeks away.That’s not leaving him much time to impress.

  • free giveaways

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #4

    If he plays well I would play him in the middle alongside Tiote and play Nolan just behind Best.

  • coolcatcarter89

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #5

    Can’t see where he fits in? If he shows a glimmer of promise, he’s content with a spot on the bench next season and can get him for £5m, yes. When a player is emphatically not wanted by the selling club, no way should you paying £8m!!

  • Nufc-83

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Coolcat you cant see were he fits in as i said if he even regains 70% of his form he will be the best cm at our club by a mile. He will easily take nolans position alongside tiote in the middle imo.

  • Brutooon

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #7

    I see him as a supporting striker with nolan and tiote in the middle

    Good player we got in ireland

  • free giveaways

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #8

    Yes if he regains his Man City form he is will be a superb player and could form a very strong partnership with Tiote. I think some people forget how good he was. City fans voted him player f the year ahead of Robinho and Bellamy a couple of seasons ago.

  • coolcatcarter89

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m speaking of ‘next season’. I assume we’re going to buy a right winger, moving Barton into CM with Tiote, which I believe will be formidable. With Ben Arfa to come back, who’s twice the player he is, where does he fit in next season? On the bench. Even if we played 4-3-3, I’d much rather see Gosling in the central 3 than him.

  • shabunkin

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #10

    i cant see the point of loaning ireland from villa , weve a welth of central midfielders already , plus id still like to see how good haris vukic is , lot of hype around him but hes hardly had chance , im all for throwing him in at the deep end , if hes good enough time isnt an issue , his ability should come thru

  • Nufc-83

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #11

    Shabunkinh he looks good at reserve level but is definately not ready for the step up to compete for a place at cm he should go on loan as he needs to get competative games. As for coolcarter if they are both on top form i would rate Ireland better than joey but not massively better so ye if we buy a top class right winger and move joey to centre im not sure we should use our transfer funds on somebody slightly better than what we have already. If i could choose the side next season with a few names that has been linked then i would go for.

    ??? Samba Colo Enrique
    ??? Barton Jonas
    Not sure who i would bring in at rb and rm but we definately need top quality players in them positions simpson is improving but still is the weakest link for me maybe get an experienced rb and have simmo back up and hope he keeps getting better to take over eventually.

  • free giveaways

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Harris Vukic looked out of his depth when he played against Chelsea in the fa cup this season, he gets pushed off the ball too easily. I think he still needs time to develop.

    Ireland was one of the best midfielders in europe a couple of seasons ago. Apart from Ben Arfa, we haven’t got anyone with Ireland’s vision and creativity. I don’t think Nolan and Gosling are as good as him.

  • Marty-Toon

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #13

    Jailbird..Ireland/Nolan..Chiek the room..Jonas
    …………..Nolan/Ben Arfa……………..
    ………….Shola/Mc Loven/Best/Ranger

  • sith

    Feb 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #14

    if he can regain the form, i will agree with free giveaways..
    ireland, barton and tiote will be a strong midfields in PL..
    push nolan just behind striker..ben arfa on left, jonas on right…
    just sign a whoever who knows how to score as our striker..

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #15

    Would love to see a 4-3-2-1 system played with Ireland and Ben arfa playing behind the striker. 3 quality midfielders in tiote, Barton and Nolan.
    Similar to the way arsenal sometimes play or barca, granted they go with 3 up front, but think if we adapt their system slightly we have players to play that way, particulary a hard working midfield!

  • jimmymagpie

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #16

    Northern ranger74 – Sorry mate, I have only just caught up with the question you asked last night. Yes, I do believe that Ashleyn is the joint worst in my lifetime aling with the bufoon, Shepherd. Ashley because he doesn’t talk to the fans, and when he does communicate through the despicable Lambias, he is full of contradictions, and you can’t believe a word they say. Shepherd for running the club into the ground and no doubt administration if he had stayed in control. That is the one thing I give Ashley credit for, he saved us from a financial nightmare. As regards my season ticket, not a seconds hesitation. Despite what some say about me on this site, I have supported thro good and horrendous for over 60 years, and will do till the day I die. Perhaps because I’ve seen so much disappointment, that I try to add a touch of realism. Some interpret this as negativity and pessimism. Every time I go to see my team I expect to see them win, if that’s pessimism, so be it.

  • jj

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #17

    I agree with a lot of peoples opinions on who to go for and i think a mix of prem experience and youth should be added this summer, to that end i think we should go for……

    Samba 8m
    Elmander free
    Larsson free
    Sturridge 7m
    Gervinho 8m

    thats 25m and wages and if we offloaded a few strikers and smith id go for Connor Whickham and break him in gently if we could get him for the right price



    Ben Arfa………Barton……..Tiote……………..Jonas



    Solid defence, solid centre mid, creative attacking wingers and pace and power up front

    What do ppl think???? realistic????

  • jj

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #18

    23million i meant but still leaves a few million here or there in case prices are not right……

  • henock1989

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #19

    lol… didn’t Ireland take Barton’s place at city

  • TimToon9

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #20


    simp – samba – collo – bull

    barton – tiote – nolan

    ireland – ben arfa


    We need Nolan, mostly for his leadership on the pitch. Buy Ireland, Samba and Gervinho this summer, and no departures!!

  • free giveaways

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #21

    We’ve got no chance of getting Samba. Arsenal wanted him in January but he’s just signed a new contract at Blackburn. I’m happy with Collo, Willo and Taylor. Maybe Ashley Williams from Swansea on a bosman, he’ll be cheap so our board will probably go for him.

    I would love to see a 4 – 3 -2 -1 with our midfield like this;

    Barton – Tiote – Ireland

    Gervinho – Ben Arfa

  • TimToon9

    Feb 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #22

    I see alot of you not using Nolan! He is a leader on the pitch, and is vital for the team! He will and should, always play.

  • Drago

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #23

    how do you guys can rate Gosling so high ? he never was a good player, and after these injuries i believe never will be… he’s nowhere near ready to be our first 11 player…

  • hadthetshirt

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #24

    All this talk about buying the likes of Gervinho and Sturridge etc is just pie in the sky.This is the real world and Newcastle United, not football manager game.We have a wage structure that isn’t going to change any time soon,so you need to be more realistic.Besides Sturridge is enjoying life at Bolton apparently and they may have 1st option on him.Gervinho is rumoured to be going to Liverpool and they wont offer pea nuts for wages.Still it makes me smile all of you managers with big ambitions :o)

  • The Power Ranger

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #25

    Has Xisco broke his leg????

    If true, he has to be the most unlucky player ever!!

  • free giveaways

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #26

    hadthetshirt ;

    We signed Ben Arfa remember? One of the most talented players in Europe. He was on massive wages at Marseille and we got him here. So I don’t think talk of Daniel Sturridge is “pie in the sky”. Do you really think any player would rather go to Bolton and play in front of a half empty stadium every other week rather than come to Newcastle and perhaps wear the famous number 9 shirt?

    Of course if Liverpool make an offer for Gervinho he’ll probably go there. But it’s not a certainty. They’re looking at other players like Ashley Young and N’Zogbia. We’ve got his mate Tiote here so Gervinho certainly isn’t unrealistic.

  • The Power Ranger

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #27

    Also, when did we sign Samba????? haha

  • coolcatcarter89

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #28

    I don’t agree with breaking up the defense, it’s settled and looking better than it has for years. I’d only bring in the young Spanish LB from Sporting Gijon for £5m, to directly challenge and provide back-up to Jose. We have Simpson, Gosling, S.Taylor and Jonas who can all play right back. Colo, Willo, S.Taylor and Kadar at CB, we’re plush in defence.

    I’d also be very reluctant to break up the Jonas/Enrique combo, which is our most potent weapon. A good team has great partnerships all over the field, the understanding and trust these two have is fantastic, getting better still, in my opinion.

    For me:

    Gervinho – RW – £10m

    Chamberlain/Sturridge/Wickham – in order of 1st/2nd/3rd choice – £8-12m

    After selling a few we’d have about £18m left.
    My final targets will probably get me ridiculed but, after doing a bit of sifting through articles, there will be a lot of high calibre strikers moving around in the summer. Cavani, Benzema, Bojan to name a few. Cavani being the most realistic out of the three. We need a lethal striker, someone who can take the burden of being expected to get 20 goals a season. That would be the final piece of the jig-saw for me. Saying that I’d much rather Carr find a steal for £5m 🙂

  • Hugh Jorgan

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #29

    Re FA cup
    Manchester Utd v Crawley Town
    Man Utd have made 10 changes to the team that played Man City last week.
    It’s the sort of team they would put out in a pre season friendly.
    Let’s see if the FA try to fine our sweaty sock mate Alex Ferguson.
    I doubt it somehow !

  • coolcatcarter89

    Feb 19, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #30

    hadtheshirt – Who do you propose then? Carlton Cole, Kevin Doyle, Peter Crouch, Agbonlahor? Pah!! Sturridge, I’d approximate, will be on £25-30k p/w at Chelsea, not out of reach, Gervinho similarly.

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #31

    Hugh Jorgan – 29 – The rules are different for the FA Cup, you dont have to play your full strength side.

  • TimToon9

    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #32

    No, don’t really rate Jonas that highly, would rather have a midfield like this:

    ……..ben arfa…..ireland….
    or switch ireland and ben arfa

  • berToon

    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #33

    good right winger, in keeping with getting young players wijnaldum for feyenoord year left on contract could pick him up for a song,carr seems to keep an eye on the eredivisie so no doubt hes seen this young talent still abit raw but very quick and strong. cant see us gettin gervinho lille are doing well champions league football awaits

  • toon18

    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #34

    When everyone’s back fit I’d like to try this side out.

    Gutierrez………Ben arfa

    Then in the summer – gervinho in for guti and a top striker to replace best.

  • Ryan_NUFC88

    Feb 19, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #35

    Anyone read this?

    All good for Bolton game though, also states one more booking he is out for two games :/

  • ginkoh

    Feb 19, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #36

    I’m pretty sure he will happy to get 2 match ban from 10 yellow card if we can get 3 points against Bolton. and for Everton we can play Ireland there.

  • Tal_nufc4eva

    Feb 19, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #37

    C’MON lee wheres the other posts?
    sign the petition for the singing section

  • nimo

    Feb 19, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #38

    Can I just ask when when was the last time this club was in such a good posiston or better? The last time I remember is 2002-2003 sort of time so for all the Ashley haters( I’m not his biggest fan) he does seem to be taking the club forward, I think 1 win n were safe n still 11 games left HWTL

  • Thump

    Feb 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #39

    Saw that earlier, Ryan. He’ll still play apparently, probably with a finger splint, though.

  • Thump

    Feb 19, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #40

    Has anybody seen this?

    New 12th man package. Not too bad, actually.


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