Stephen Ireland Could Become Big Player For Newcastle

Maybe it was just relief to see Stephen Ireland playing for the Magpies, but we think this Irishman could become a big player for Newcastle.

Stephen Ireland – on training pitch – he looks happy enough

Stephen still has to prove he can regain something like his old form at Newcastle,  but for the last 18 months he has not felt welcome or appreciated at the two clubs he has played for – Manchester City and Aston Villa, where both of their foreign managers didn’t seem to rate him.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew does rate him, and apparently Stephen has been looking great in training, and he was welcomed big time by the Newcastle fans on Tuesday evening, when he came on after 69 minutes against Manchester United, and that both surprised and delighted the County Cork-born 24 year-old.

That will only help Stephen settle on Tyneside, and we now expect the lad to play  a bigger role  in the last 5 games of the season, as he gains more and more match practice.

And it could be that Stephen will love things at Newcastle, and if his statements after the Manchester United game are anything to go by, he already feels settled on Tyneside.

Here are some of the things Stephen said after the excellent 0-0 draw with the Red Devils on Tuesday night.

“The fans have been brilliant, and it was electric,” “I haven’t played in front of fans like that before in my life.” “It’s massive for our team – the teams that come here are petrified, and you can see that by the way they react.”

“To do it for a whole 90 minutes is impressive.”“It has been hard, but it was made a lot easier thanks to the club,” “I’m really impressed by the club, the staff and the fans – everybody’s been brilliant to me.”

“They have helped me with what has gone on. I’m now just looking forward to getting my head down and playing as much football as I can.” “I just want to help the club stay as high up the table as I can.”

“I have not really had a manager who has wanted me to play and I have felt like an outcast for a while. It’s nice to be treated normally for once. I haven’t had that in a while.”  “I have come here now and even through my injuries, they kept telling me, ‘Listen, it’s not a problem, just get yourself right’.”

“The loyalty they have shown me, I am going to repay that as much as I can. It’s been really frustrating, but it’s all behind me now, thank God, and it’s finally here.” “It’s finally come around that I can play and I just want to finish the season strongly and try to benefit the team in whatever way I can.”

That all sounds very good to us, and it seems this lad was destined to play for Newcastle, and if he can show some of his old form by the end of the season, then Ireland will be a terrific buy for Newcastle at just around £8M.

As we said after the Red Devils game, Stephen is an emotional player, not unlike Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan, and the Newcastle fans can lift him to play at the very top of his game, and of course if he can reproduce that old form, he will be starting for Newcastle next season.

He could even turn out to be Newcastle’s first signing of the summer, and it wouldn’t be a bad one, as this lad seems to really want to play for Newcastle United.

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Stuart

    Apr 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #1

    I’d definately take him like but sure we could get him for less than £8m. He’s burned all his bridges at Villa, they wont want him back. Stick in a cheeky £5m bid and i reckon we’d get him.

  • Stuart

    Apr 21, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #2

    Oh yeah, how shite does that training pitch look? Could be a cause of alot of injuries right there.


    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #3

    @ Stuart

    That’s exactly what I was thinking about the pitch. I would love to sign Irland but wouldn’t pay anymore than 5mil.

  • toonfan09

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #4

    doubt thts the training pitch they use when u see the pics of them training on the offical website they are on a grass pitch

  • sticklebricks

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #5

    I don’t think we should sign him unless we are going to be selling Barton or Nolan in the summer, as to me they are all too similar styled in their style of play and character.

    I am sure Joey will be used in the middle of the park next season and neither Joey or Nobby are players that are happy to sit on the bench so where does Ireland fit in? I can just see it causing too much friction in the side between some big character players.

    For me from our current squad when fully fit our best midfield four is:


    No space for Nolan, let alone Ireland! Okay either of them could sit in a five man midfield behind a striker but I think I would rather see Gameiro/Gervinho or one of the other names we have been linked with doing this.

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #6


  • Davies

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #7

    He fits in nicely when players are crocked. Between them, Tiote, Barton and Nolan have missed 11 games this seaso, through suspension alone. Barton’s missed another two through injury.

  • Davies

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #8

    There will probably be other opportunities as well, by the way. Strength in depth is not just about making up the numbers. Ireland is the kind of signing we need to be competitive. I doubt very much that he’ll be a cameo player, if we sign him.

  • tdt

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #9

    yeh I’d definately take him for £5-6M, getting a bit pricy if it’s any more than that considering his situation with Villa.

    That would leave the midfield in a good shape once all the injuries clear up:

    Nolan, Tiote, Barton, Jonas, Ben Afra, Ireland, Guthrie.

    That’s 7 good players fighting for 4/5 positions. Do we need to buy another winger if Ireland and Barton can play out wide if either Jonas or Ben Afra are unavailable?

    I think we need 2 good strikers and a good utility defender who can play either center back or right back.

    If we get those, without lossing any of the current squad members, we will have a very good team/squad.

    This would also allow us to get shot of Campbell, Smith, Perch, Routledge, and Kuqi – freeing up some wage cash.

    This would leave us with:

    GK: Harper, Krul, Forster
    LB: Enrique, Ferguson
    CB: Collo, Williamson, S.Taylor, New Player
    RB: Simpson, (Same) New Player, R or S.Taylor
    LM: Jonas, (Ben Afra, Ireland)
    CM: Tiote, Nolan, Ireland, Barton, Guthrie
    RM: Ben Arfa, (R.Talyor, Barton)
    ST: New player x2, Shola, Pistol Pete, Nile.

    That is a good squad in my opinion that can last a whole season, barring a massive injury crisis. When you add all the current and hoprfully new youngsters that we will have at the club for next year as back-up, there’s no reason why we can build on this season and push on up the league. Not to mention a good cup run or two, as we should have the necessary personnel to be able to field a strong cup team.

    What do you guys think?

  • sticklebricks

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #10

    Did he not leave Man C because he was unhappy at having to sit on the bench..? :-/

  • drizzyTOON

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #11

    @Stuart it looks like they are training on the beach there which i believe is something they do for fitness training mainly.

    @sticklebricks I agree with you about Ireland he is good but do we need someone like him…he would be good for when Nobby or Joey retire though as he is only 24 and they are almost thirty.

    I’d rather see the money spent on someone like gervinho or another winger too and maybe see ben arfa play behind a striker

    I’d like to see this team on saturday though


    I definitely dont want to see Lovenkrands playing as he was awful the other night and against Aston Villa. He just Doesn’t add anything to the team i dont think

  • tdt

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #12

    Na he was part of the swap deal that saw milner go the other way. I doubt he had much choice in the matter, plus he must’nt of got along with mancini.

  • drizzyTOON

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #13

    @Davies your right about needing strength in depth but do you really think we can manage that many players who would be first choice players at other clubs if they left. Would be difficult to keep them happy but if we could we would have a very good squad

  • jimmyxavi

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #14


    What about Best, Gosling and Vuckic??

  • tdt

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #15

    Sorry yes, Best should be in there too.

    Gosling and Vuckic I have classed as youth, but I suppose Gosling could equally be back-up anywhere across the midfield.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #16

    The photo is on a beach not the training ground

  • nufc.sam

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #17

    With our disciplinary / injury records we need a lot of strength in depth in midfield. 5-7 mil would be a great signing provided he impresses last 5 games!

  • tdt

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #18

    That picture is probably when they are laying the under-soil heating, so they will probably take one pitch up at a time so there is still grass elsewhere in the training ground to play on. That’s my guess anyway.

  • carrollsinger

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #19

    Ireland can play just behind the striker or anywhere across mid so he’s a good player to have if jonas Nolan barton hba tiote gets injured he can cover anyone of them

  • drizzyTOON

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #20

    Who would you guys like to see as strikers at Newcastle next season?

    I would like to see Sow as he has looked good all season at Lille and possibly Lukaku but he may be difficult to get.

  • liam85

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #21

    I like Ireland. He played well with a couple of really nice passes and a good shot at the goal (ok, wasn’t amazing but still better than some of the other chances we had).

    I just hope we can beat Blackpool. I have faith in Newcastle but everytime I’m sure we will win we mess up. Everytime I’m not too sure they come up trumps.. lol.
    I always have faith though 🙂 HWTL!!!!

  • Flood

    Apr 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #22

    i’m not so sure on ireland! before the man u game everyone else was doubtful and its a game where he played alrite and not spectactular! so whats changed?

    i think for £5/6 million we could spend the money better elsewhere… but i trust AP and GC to bring in the right people!

  • ToonAndy

    Apr 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #23


    In dream land – Mario Gomez and Hulk

    Possibly – Gamerio and Sow

    realistically – Best and Ameobi

  • Flood

    Apr 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #24


  • Sav

    Apr 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #25

    Yep. The lad may be fit again but he’s still got a box of gerbils for brains.
    It depends on the price and the wage. If its not a buyers’ market, we’d be better off sending him back to Houllier.
    And he definitely pulled out of one tackle on Tuesday night. Not a great sign.

  • RedMissionBells

    Apr 21, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #26

    We deperately need to fix up our training pitches.
    It is in a horrible state.

    Such muddy surface will be slippery and is more likely to cause our players to fall.

  • jonnymcdonald

    Apr 21, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #27

    @geordiedoonsooth, you can see boards in the background of the picture, its definitely not at a beach!

  • Dan in france

    Apr 21, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #28

    i hope we can get SOW he’s just atm awesome strong like an ox and well the top goal scorer alebit from a lower league . he wont be cheap cheap but we need quality to ge anywhere so get him haha 😀

  • cgrizzly87

    Apr 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #29

    That really is the training ground. I don’t think the whole site looks like that but still not good for the players. Put the bubblewrap down we don’t need any more injuries!

  • coolcatcarter89

    Apr 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #30

    Do any of you ever visit the official site and view the training photos? Jesus, get some complete nuggets on ‘ere.

    A 6-month loan deal, with a fixed price of say £5m for Jan would be good, for Ireland.

  • 09nufc09

    Apr 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #31

    the pic is of the trtaining ground not the beach lol (beaches in newcastle are nicer than that) i was next to the training ground the other day and they have started to do the work for the undersoil heating, took up some of the turf in some parts but the training pitches are fine and the players are in no risk of injuries lol all they have to do is walk over some dry mud for about 100 meters.

  • coolcatcarter89

    Apr 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #32

    Exactly 09nufc09. Thanks for that, I couldn’t be bothered to explain.

  • sammydolan

    Apr 21, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #33

    I thought that was a beach at first…

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 21, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #34

    The picture makes him look overweight. What kind of shape is he in? A big contract might just turn him into another Owen. Whinging about injuries and how nobody appreciates him. I agree with Sav, a box of gerbils for brains. Just don’t trust the man’s intentions.

  • lee1892

    Apr 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #35

    In my opinion we won’t see the best of him this season, he seems to have a canny size ‘Sol Campbell’ gut on him, not doubt cos he hasn’t played all season. If here’s next season I hope it’s initially on a loan deal

  • Lee Dodd

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #36

    When he came on against Man United he Had a Good game So I would say Get Him Signed Up But At £8 Million he is Not Worth That Maybe £4.5 ?? We Need 2 Possibly 3 Good Centre Forwards First !!! Or Get Shot of Alan Smith To Villa in PX ?? With James Perch and Sol Campbell 3 Crocks !!!

  • davis_toons

    Apr 21, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #37


    This setup was good. Jonas always works hard and does alot of defensive work to have a balance in the midfield. He deserves a place in the starting

    Some wingers just doesnt get back to defence when needed. He can be the extra man for the defence.

    Im just waiting to see this lineup.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 21, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #38

    It’s funny how NOW everyone wants Ireland signed! I’ve said many times before and I’ll say it again: We should sign Ireland!! Next season loan with clause/option to buy. He will come good again I have absolutely no doubt.

    8M is a bit too much though we should be able to get him for 4.5 – 6M.

  • moonraker

    Apr 21, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #39

    Don’t mind whether we loan or buy him but we need players of his quality for next season.

    I am more optimistic about things at the club than I have been for a long time. The football we played in the first half against Man U was superb.

    If we can just hold on to Jose, Joey and Tiote (did you notice Jamie Redknap bigging him up the other night?), and add a goalscorer to the squad then good times are ahead!! 🙂 HWTL

  • Brutooon

    Apr 22, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #40

    DefiNitely a quality player, sign hm permanently. With him and arfa, we are unstoppable


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