It seems that Stephen Ireland is ready to stay at Aston Villa.
Stephen Ireland – in one of his two sub appearances for Newcastle
The midfielder joined Aston Villa from Manchester City only last summer when Martin O’Neil was manager, but was then squeezed out of the first team picture and ignored when French manager Gerard Houllier was appointed.
But since Alex McLeish has taken over, it seems that Ireland will be given a new chance to impress at Villa, and has been given the number 7 shirt.
Ireland was brought to Newcastle on loan in January, but had lots of injuries, and it was rather a disastrous loan spell for both player and the Magpies.
Stephen ended up making only two sub appearances for the side, but we still thought there was a chance that Alan Pardew could sign the Irishman this summer.
This is what Stephen had to say today to Sky Sports News. :
“I’ve come back this year really determined and really ready to give it a good shot, and hopefully this manager gives me a fair go, which I haven’t had in a while,”
“All I’m asking for is a fair shot. I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m just asking for a fair crack at playing.”
“That’s all I’m asking for, is a fair shot. I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m just asking for a fair crack at playing.
“It’s very difficult for confidence. Like you say I was a fans’ favorite at City, and that’s what I wanted to become here, have that same support of the fans.”
“I haven’t played five games in a row since Mark Hughes was City manager, so it’s not as if I’ve played in 20 or 30 games and not done anything.”
“I haven’t had the opportunity to perform to even be in that situation. I came in for training and went home. My job was just training, that was it.”
And Ireland has made a surprising statement on loan move to Newcastle, as he continued:
“I got sent to Newcastle basically against my own will.”
“I came here as a new signing, and I was here to play every second of every game. I came here really determined and wanted to kick on.”
“I came here under Kevin MacDonald and everything seemed fine and was going in the right direction.”
“Gerard came in, and everyone has their own opinions, and I wasn’t for him I guess.”
Well no mention there of wanting to play for Newcastle, so we suppose any deal for Ireland looks dead in the water.
The last we heard, Stephen was saying he was desperate for a move to Newcastle, but we suppose things have changed on that score.
There was some news a month or two back that the Newcastle hierarchy were unwilling to pay Ireland £50K/week because of his poor injury record.
But Ireland is still a classy player, and we think he would have made a good signing for Newcastle, especially with the new skilled players that have already arrived on Tyneside this summer.
What do you think?