Now that we have the win Newcastle fans wanted to see last Saturday against Wolves, why wasn’t Stephen Ireland on the bench?
Stephen Ireland – still to play for Newcastle
Stephen doesn’t need reminding that he came to Newcastle on the same day Andy Carroll was sensationally sold to Liverpool for £35M.
Ireland was injured at the time with a knee injury, so Newcastle knew he wouldn’t be fit for a few weeks, and of course when he was fit to play, and ready to make his debut against Everton, he picked up a thigh injury, similar to what Joey Barton had at the time.
But it seemed like he had recovered from that injury, and Alan Pardew was talking about at least having him on the bench last Saturday, but of course Stephen hadn’t played a competitive game since December, and would hardly be match fit.
Maybe that was the reason Alan Pardew didn’t have him on the bench against Wolves, and another reason was he knew Stephen couldn’t play the following this Saturday against his club, Aston Villa.
Stephen Ireland hasn’t played one minute for Newcastle so far in his loan spell, and it seems the injuries to the Irishman will hardly help his case for getting a contract at Newcastle in the summer, as he’s coming across as a little injury-prone, although that may be a little harsh on the 24 year-old.
But clubs sign players on loan so they can help them, just as Jamie O’Hara, as just one example, has helped Wolves big time since he went on loan to them in January from Spurs.
Stephen will presumably be available for the home game against Manchester United two weeks tonight, and at that time there will be only 6 games to play in the season, including the Red Devils game.
It’s a good question as to whether Stephen will be able to do enough in those remaining games to convince Newcastle that he would make a good permanent signing in the summer.
The fee would probably be around £8M, since he has no future at Villa as long as Gerard Houllier is manager of the club.
I’ll run a poll asking readers whether Newcastle should sign Ireland in the summer, and let us know your opinion on this.