Pardew Praises Stephen Ireland – Should We Sign Him?


I remember talking to my son Neil about three years ago, when we were watching Manchester City play, and we agreed how great Stephen Ireland would be at Newcastle.

Stephen Ireland – in action for Newcastle United

And although Stephen’s had a difficult in the last 18 months or so, with Manchester City and Aston Villa, he’s now at Newcastle, and trying his very best to get a permanent deal with the Magpies.

There’s little doubt that Ireland is extremely talented and all we need to see in the next four games is some of the form he showed in his prime at the Eastlands club, and then we’re fairly  sure Alan Pardew will want to sign him permanently.

We mentioned a couple of days back that if Newcastle do sign Ireland they will already have essentially three new players for next season already, in Ireland, Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling, because they’ve played only a total of about 8 appearances for the club this season, between them.

Ireland has so far played in only two Newcastle games, but we expect him to play in all the four remaining games,  and maybe even get a couple of starts for the side.

This is what the Newcastle manager said about the Irishman today to BBC Newcastle:

“Stephen’s a little match-shy at the moment,” “But we’ve got a week, and we need to see him now, so there’s a good chance he could play at Liverpool.”

“My view of Stephen is that he’s an outstanding quality player,” “On a really horrible pitch at Blackpool, somebody of his technique, he kept the ball, moved it and created a couple of nice situations.”

“He slowed the game down when he needed to, and could have had a goal, I felt he should have shot at the end rather than set up Shola Ameobi.”

Stephen has also waxed lyrical about the Newcastle club and their famous fans since he’s been on Tyneside, and had lots of troubles with injuries.

But he got a great reception from the Geordie fans, when he was brought on against the Red Devils, and that seems to have really lifted him, as he wasn’t sure how the fans would have reacted to him being out for so long, while on loan.

In our poll we launched a couple of weeks ago, 41% say Newcastle should signg him and 35% say no, but that was before the lad had played played for Newcastle  – so we are going to relaunch the poll – and you can vote on the home page.

Or vote here:

Should Newcastle Sign Stephen Ireland?

View Results
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I’ll find out if having one poll in two places on the site works – I’m learning about this stuff all the time. 😀

This Irish lad seems just so determined to get a permanent contract this summer on Tyneside, and play for the black and whites.

We think he’s going to be successful in doing just that.

Comments welcome.



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46 comments so far

  • BWarmy

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #1

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  • TimToon9

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #2

    No doubt, immense talent and seems to love it here on Tyneside.. What a bargain he could be!

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  • TimToon9

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #3

    Btw, love the blog Ed! Keep up the good work. Couldn’t picture a day without this blog!

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  • jettson

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #4

    Ireland, HBA & Gosling will be like three new signings next season any rate!!
    Add to strikers, right winger, full back cover and i’d be happy with that!
    minimum of 5 players in, 3 or 4 to go out!

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  • WELSH TOON ™

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Elfy_Toon you around mate? What’s that Ashley Williams like? I think a new CB in summer is priority and you should be the best person on this blog to ask about him.

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  • Weezertoon

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #6

    Ed, he waxed lyrical, truth be told.

    i wonder how many times you’ve waxed lyrical about those two expressions truth be told.

    (just kidding fella)

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  • dave 1961

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #7

    yes give villa £3.5m for him as he does not want to go back to villa & they don’t want him. we are the perfect club for him, he needs to feel special & our fans are the ones that can bring this about.

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #8

    My guess is Ireland is all but signed up already judging by his attack on Villa and how much positive press he has recieved from us. Would be shocked if he isnt in a black and white strip next season.

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  • FarAwayGeordie

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #9

    hopefully villa dont budge and try sell him at an over-inflated price

    personally im a fan of ireland, i think the ideal situation would be for another full season loan when this one expires and then a buy-out option .

    we need to see how he would fit with the full first choice players ie. attacking midfielder or winger

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  • estechco

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #10

    Didn’t see much in his game against Man U, but against Blackpool though he had a very good touch.

    Could work very well indeed if surrounded with like minded players.

    Our team is so obvisouly lacking a killer front line. Sow and Gameiro perhaps?

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  • coolcatcarter89

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #11

    Where does he fit? He was narked by his two previous clubs not giving him first-team football, so you’d have to assume he’s arriving on the premise of having a starting spot, no?

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  • Toony Montana

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #12

    Well he’s injured AGAIN!!! Leg injury in training and is doubtful for Liverpool!!!

    So, no, we should’nt sign him.

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #13

    coolcatcarter89

    you have a point that he wants first team but he must know he needs to start again somewhere. He would be back-up to Nolan and Ben Afra. Odds on injuries and suspensions will take out atleast one of them for a few games.

    We also dont know if Ben Afra will be good for NUFC when he comes back. He never got a chance to adapt to the EPL during his loan before he got the leg break. And he may not be the same player as he was.

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  • MT

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #14

    If his performance is good,i think we’ll sign him.
    but i am doubt that how many matches can he prove himself?If the price is £3-5m,i ‘ll buy him.

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  • chuck

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #15

    We should`nt let this opportunity go.
    A year ago if you had asked me , what are our opportunities of signing him, I would have said poor.
    The guys a good player, we have all seen him play and he wants to sign for the club.
    There`s been a lot of anti Ireland stuff on these blogs, digging up the ” His Granny”stories etc.
    Give him an opportunity to play and then judge him, because thats what we will be paying him for.
    After all we put up with Joey and Andy`s antics sticking beer glasses in people faces and pounding people to the pavement, the most you can say about Ireland is, he showed the public his bared abs.

    Coolcarter89
    where does he play, look do you realise that to-days PL teams rotate and platoon players constantly, plus injuries are also a constant problem.
    There is no first team or fixed team.
    If you look at the sides we have been fielding lately, you may realise how short a bench this club has and the need to bring in re inforcements,
    one of which happens to be Ireland, get it !

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  • USGeordie

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #16

    He shows promise, but I don’t feel that he has proven himself yet. So far in the games I have seen him he seems to not know where to be or who to mark. I haven’t seen him really run his socks off yet. Has a good touch, just needs to get in the game more and take control. I wouldn’t be upset if we signed him, but also wouldn’t feel bad if he left.

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  • coolcatcarter89

    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #17

    Chuck – you obviously cannot read, you drip.

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  • Brutooon

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #18

    he is definitely a talent, keep him. He and HBA would be two good players

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  • chuck

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #19

    Coolcarter
    Says, where does he fit he was narked by his two previous clubs not giving him first team football,so you can assume he`s arriving on the premis of having a starting spot, no?

    That`s what i replied too, whats your problem ?

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  • Party Tyne

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #20

    My opinion is that if we could sign him on low(-ish) wages for around 4/5mil, then we should buy him, if he plays well over the final few games. I can’t really say right now wether he is a great player, there’s no doubt last season he was in great form, so he needs to produce that again for us if we are to sign him.

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #21

    Ireland is out for the rest of the season with a ankle injury…Lee Ryder is the source

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  • coolcatcarter89

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #22

    You retorted as if I’d said: “He doesn’t fit in, I don’t want him.”

    I’d love to be in a position to rotate the squad and keep everyone happy, but history suggests, he doesn’t like being a bit part player and wants to be the main man. He’s made numerous remarks about this. We have someone named Ben Arfa though, who’s a class above and plays in Ireland’s preferred position, he has the potential to join the elite band of 10 to 15 players in world football, in my opinion. So Ireland’s chances would be limited, as at previous clubs, unless we can slot him in somewhere else, maybe RWF?

    Ireland—-Ben Arfa—-Jonas

    ————???????————

    Perhaps? Though AP has stated he wants ‘pace and directness’ on the flanks, so I doubt it.

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  • geoff777

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #23

    In around half a season he’s played around 30 minutes for us (two appearances as sub).

    If Houllier recovers enough to continue at Villa (Get well soon Gerard), it’s unlikely he’ll be wanted at Villa’s pre-season.

    The price could be right …
    It’s one for Pardew to assess really.
    It looks bad from the outside but if Pardew knows they are fluke injuries he’s suffered, we could pick him up for a better price than if he’d been a star for the last few matches.

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  • jimmymagpie

    Apr 27, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #24

    You lot make me laugh – the bloke is a waste of space. Out for the season with another injury sustained at Blackpool! Pardew even tells Radio Newcastle today, that he has a chance of playing at Liverpool, when he already knew the bugger was injured AGAIN. Pardew tells a pack of lies every he opens his gob, either that, or he doesn’t what the hell is going on, take your pick!

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  • Zangwill_Ho

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #25

    Ireland is out for the rest of the season with a ankle injury. Should not sign him

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #26

    Zangwill_Ho
    by that logic we shouldnt of signed Ben Afra

    Both players have bad history.
    Both players are on large wages.
    Both players want to be here.
    Both players got season ending injuries.
    Only difference is when we signed them on loan.

    Its Pardew who should decide if he is worth the money

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  • nyctoon

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #27

    ya i don’t wanna make any premature judgments but if he’s really this injury prone you’d have to think the options are:

    1) pick him up on the cheap (way less than 5m), take gamble on next season
    2) walk away from a deal, we have a solid central midfield, more important to build elsewhere
    3) extend the loan

    i think it will be 2 or 3. i want this lad to excel but to be realistic we don’t need perpetually injured players on the payroll IMO

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  • JamesP32

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #28

    No we shouldn’t sign him, as he has only played two matches and now is injured once again and will miss the last 4 match’s of the season with another ankle injury.
    http://www.nufc.co.uk/articles/20110427/ankle-injury-rules-out-ireland_2281670_2348100

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  • jimmymagpie

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #29

    WWJBD- there is a big difference the two. Ben Arfa had his leg broken by a bad tackle, which can happen to anybody. Ireland is perpetually sidelined by muscle and ligament injuries, a sure sign that he is as strong as a chocalate teapot. He only started 11 games for Villa, and hasn’t played a whole game for 4 1/2 months. Don’t you think we have enough fragile little darlings of own without importing them when we know that they’re as weak as water.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #30

    INJURED AGAIN!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!! Not just injured but for all our remaining matches too! This is really getting ridiculous. WTF is going on in Newcastle and their injuries!!!??? I can’t take this crap anymore! It only happens here every season. Reports say it happened during the Blackpool match but I am not too convinced. Now when I like many have been anxiously waiting to see this guy in action for us and start a match we won’t see him again for another 4 months!-If we sign him that is.

    Now that’s Ben Arfa, Gosling, Best and Ireland out for the season!! WTF seriously. That is 4 first team players right there.

    I still think we should sign Ireland but on a season loan with option to buy next season.

    I guess I am gonna have to wait EVEN MORE MONTHS until I can finally see these guys on the same pitch! This season has been false dawns all along. I have never had so many kicks in the teeth with Newcastle compared to this unforgettably traumatic season.

    Thank God we seem to be safe from the drop!

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #31

    jimmymagpie

    I know they are different. But I think its a stretch to say that he is perpetually injured. We signed him injured. He only started 11 games for Villa because GH (get well soon) didnt rate him and he didnt fit into his vision for the club.

    Yeah your right he hasent played in a long time but Ben Arfa hasent played in how long? and people have him walking into the starting line up from a much worse injury. One that could alter his playing style/ability and confidence.

    Irelands actual injuries for us have been a training injury that kept him out for 1 week (2 because of Villa) and this one which he sustained in a match which has put him out for the season.

    Wheres the call for Gosling to be sold? we signed him injured he came back got injured…similarities to Ireland?

    Am not saying we should sign him, am not saying we shouldnt but writing him off because of this injury is knee jerk

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  • juliolaker

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #32

    The guy is the very epitome of everything that is wrong about the modern day footballer. Lying about your grandparents being dead, not wanting to play for your country, disgusting displays of wealth in struggling times. I don’t want him at the club. I have no doubts about his talents but unfortunately his first love is always going to be himself….despite what it says on his missus’ seats!

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  • jimmymagpie

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #33

    WWJBD – Check my postings back in February, and you will see that I also warned about Gosling. The Everton medical staff told Moyes to hold fire on a contract offer, as they weren’t sure that the boy would come back at all, so bad was his injury. Ncle ignored this, more evidence of the crap decision taking at this club. Ireland didn’t fit in with Man City or the Republic either. Too much of a coincidence for me. Makes me wonder who is really taking the decisions at this club of ours’. Agree with you about Ben Arfa, his confidence could have been seriously affected. Why does he feel that he has to go back back for more conditioning in France this week? It doesn’t reflect much confidence in our backroom staff.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #34

    Another Newcastle player injured! Not only that but another Season Finisher!! This is getting ridiculous and there is something really wrong with the physios or training pitch at Newcastle as this happens every season. (I know that this might have happened during the Blackpool match)

    Newcastle are always top of the league- the injury list table that is. Now just another 4 months until I can see the likes of our star players like; Ben Arfa, Ireland, Gosling and Best.

    We don’t need 5-7 new players we need 10 at least!… as half of them will be out injured for the whole season again, that’s what usually happens here.

    With these type of serious injuries happening constantly we will never challenge anything any season.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #35

    Can’t afford to waste money on him. Injured again (that is at least 3 separate injuries since he came to us on loan). Now it’s his ankle. Forget him or we’ll end up with another Owen. Looks overweight also. Couldn’t last a whole match to save his life. If he isn’t in shape now then why not? Too much time in the pubs, too many meat pies. Another round of grannie funerals perhaps?

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #36

    jimmymagpie

    haha I’ll just believe that you posted those worries if you dont mind 🙂

    I am not disagreeing that our medical staff are pretty low standard. It needs rebuilding from the ground up (it was demolised by a previous owner wasent it? my knowledge here is lacking but I seem to recall this being the case)

    Agreed that Ireland has had his issues with Man City (who still rated him on the pitch just not in attitude. This practise must have changed since they now play super Mario), Republic (who wanted him he just didnt want to play for them) and Villa (where GH didnt like him). His issues are more personal ones rather than footballing ones imo.

    I just think we as fans arent in a position to say whether his injury is a problem that can be fixed or cant be. And whether it affects his transfer chances.

    If you say no to him based on his footballing skills thats fair enough but purely based on him being out for the season is, imo, over the top

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #37

    Also glad someone else isnt just expecting Ben Afra to be our saviour

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  • jimmymagpie

    Apr 27, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #38

    WWJBD – Allardyce brought in a whole load of backroom staff, ranging from fitness boys to doctors to sports scientists etc, and Ashley decimated them to cut costs and employed others on lower wages.

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  • WWJBD

    Apr 27, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #39

    jimmymagpie
    So I was right about the action just not the timing.
    Surely Ashley will see he needs to invest in medical staff and I hope he does.

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  • solano

    Apr 27, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #40

    WWJBD…out of our player recruitment budget of course…….
    A look at games played at previous clubs seems an obvious suggestion, but if someone had bothered to do this in the past we would have saved fortunes (Marcelino and Woodgate would never have been considered)…
    Jimmy Magpie will tell you that injuries take their toll in the longterm and Newcastle shouldn’t be gambling what little resources they have signing perma-crocks in the hope they will rekindle some earlier promise

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