Speculation – Ireland attracts interest

Buried away in a speculation article on another team we have this.

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland, 25, is attracting interest from clubs in Russia and Turkey.


We have had a few rumours around about Ireland and as I posted before he does split views. My position on Ireland is well known to regular readers of this blog. On £70-80K a week I just think he is a luxury player we can not afford. I also believe he would not be Paul Lambert’s ‘type of player’.

We will see.

58 comments on “Speculation – Ireland attracts interest

  1. Sell him and bring in Boltons Stuart Holden

    • As a yank, I can’t really deny that I would absolutely love this signing. He is so underrated. The year Scott Parker won press player of the year, Holden was actually leading him prior to his injury. Incredibly underrated player right now.

  2. I read on another site that we pay SL £50k a week with man city paying the rest as a lump sum when he transferred to us. Ok ,still a huge amount to pay each week but if (if…) Lambert gets him playing the football we know he can play and did 3 years ago it would be an astute piece of leadership. My opinion, Paul Lambert is the best manager since MON – give him till Christmas and sell in January if it is not working out.

  3. Ireland attracts interest? What, visit to the guiness factory maybe?

  4. i doubt he’ll leave if lambert is only signing one midfielder

  5. I think all these so called strikers should be put on performance based wages,i.e if they dont score they dont get paid…..That d gee the lazy, goal shy ,lumps of wood up
    How about a bonus for getting a shot on target….I think we had about 4 in the last 10 games of the season.
    I just hope Lambo can sort them out…..Or bring new players in….

    • Working on that basis would you not pay the defence and GK if we failed to keep a clean sheet? Also not really an incentive to come and play for the club is it? I know where your coming from though!

    • I don’t really care if Ireland stays or goes to be honest. Yes he is technically gifted but he also drifts in and out of games a lot and 1 goal and 4 assists for a “creative/attacking” midfielder is a poor return given his high wages……………defensive tactics or not.

      A lot of Spurs fans I know (and the majority of my friends do seem to be Spuds) are more than happy to see Modric go for exactly the same reason (poor return in terms of goals and assists)

      Ireland had a decent (at a push) season for us in what was an otherwise dire campaign and maybe now would be a good time to cash in, while the interest is there.

      People are banging on about bringing in quality based on the signing of two pretty much unknown entities without the foggiest idea of else who is going to be brought in to the squad over the summer.

      One thing that has stuck in my mind recently is something both McLeish and Faulkner said last year about “not ruling out the possibility of bringing in a player for a big fee and on high wages as long as it fits in with the financial structure we are working with”………………Would the sale of Steven Ireland not give us more room to manoeuvre and enable us to bring in more quality to the squad?

      • “not ruling out the possibility of bringing in a player for a big fee and on high wages as long as it fits in with the financial structure we are working with”

        In other words, we could have one highly paid player, as long as that’s it.
        No cheapies to add to it.

        Or basically a load of pony that just sounds good, until you actually think about it.

        We have a set limit on how much wages RL will pay for the squad and probably a wage structure that will probably be lower than we all want, probably more performance-based, at a guess.
        And it won’t be competitive enough for us to seriously compete at the top level, imo.

        Not that I disagree with that way of thinking, as the game in general is getting seriously out of hand when it comes to money.
        This new Sky deal does make you wonder though, if the wages thing is still going to escalate.
        If so, it has to be paid for somehow and I can only see that coming from the fan’s pocket.

        In other words, I don’t expect any big signings at all in the short to medium future.

        • To be honest the consequence of the new deal should mean no more wage squeeze shouldnt it ?

          • I would have thought so Ian.

            Anon 3, Steven Ireland is not the only player we have on big wages etc. I’m sure Darren Bent is probably our highest earner and I seriously doubt that either Given or Dunne are on less than Ireland, N’Zgobia is there or there about too not forgetting Cuellar and Heskey who have no departed.

            What they were intimating was that there is no individual wage cap for players (the £40,000 per week wage cap thrown about is more like an average figure) but as long as ANY new deal falls within our current financial means then it is do-able.

            I’m not saying that there will definitely be any marquee signings over the summer……….but I wouldn’t rule one out and I 100% believe that one is possible.

          • Look at all these thought provoking long posts… all stemmed from a one word post “bye” lol.

          • McGrath is king,

            I’m going from memory, but I think Ireland is on around £70k.
            I can’t remember Bent’s dough, but think it’s close.
            Dunne is on around £56k, similar to Gabby, N’zog and Given.
            Collins is just behind.

            My memory is extremely good or terrible, depending.
            No doubt others will tell me which🙂

            Whatever, my point is that even if we think that’s stupidly high, it’s what you need to pay if you want to be classed as even approaching the big boys and is not totally out of order.

            When you consider certain clubs pay £200k, it kind of puts it into perspective.

            It depends what you call a marquee signing, I guess.

          • You sound right, although not sure that we pay all of Ireland’s wages………I think a small proportion was paid out in a lump sum by City to get him to move.

            Marquee signings, yes views differ from club to club, I would be talking more in the realms of what we are capable and that would be somebody around parity with our top earners.

          • Ian, I suspect that RL will just use the increased revenue to claw back what’s owed to him.
            No doubt we’ll see.

          • now that is the fear I have because the problem is with the massive increase other teams will use the extra on wages and price us out

          • That’s the thing isn’t it Ian?

            My thinking is that RL has set us on a road of cutting costs.

            Will he be quick to reverse it?
            I don’t think he will, as I suspect he’s learned a lesson, even though I still instinctively believe he has our best interests at heart (albeit, I’ve moaned about him sometimes).

            If we can achieve a balance where we have an easily serviceable debt level and are still pushing the boat out occasionally, well, that would do for me

          • things is anon is about % of wages to turnover and that magical 70%. the key under MON was to increase revenue to pay for it and now that has happened with Macron, Genting and TV deal

          • Increasing revenue is key of course.
            But all the things you cite are just pennies mate in the grand scheme of things.
            That’s where Sky boils my piss, as things are generally unrealistic if you take the top 4 out of it.
            I couldn’t care less about the % of turnover, as I believe you could increase that in the short term, as long as you had a decent plan.

            What concerns me more, is that the bigger clubs can always rely on that % and it will always be bigger than the other clubs.
            That’s where it’s all wrong, imo.
            Being a good money-spinner through efficiencies etc, isn’t enough these days.

  6. we’ve been linked with a £4million move for Jonny Howson, i cant see that can you? only signed in january and he doesnt impress me one bit to be honest, also on twitter we’ve been heavily linked with nathaniel clyne from palace, good player, very good but today they reckon he’ll be signing for west ham, id rather have him than gunter

  7. Ireland on 70k a wek? What a joke……And this with Agbonlaho,Heskey and Insomnia meant we were paying,a quarter of a million quid a week..
    Shape up or f off boys….thats what I say.
    If they aint performin after the first 6 or7 games show them the gates

  8. The signing of Stephen Ireland has not worked out as planned. Perhaps the prudent move would be to accept any reasonable offer while we still can.

  9. So, Stephen Ireland is attracting interest from elsewhere? Unlike our many other lesser individuals, who aren’t attracting the slightest interest whatsoever. Says it all really.

    If we decide for whatever reason to ship Mr Ireland out, I for one will be extremely saddened and disappointed.

    We are short enough on quality, flair, and creativity already, without culling once again one of our better, more talented individuals.

    • 1 goal and 4 assists all season………………..waste of talent mate

      • A poor return indeed, not even Stephen Ireland’s better half would dare argue that point Mcgrath is king.

        However, those disappointing statistics dont in any way alter or dispute my earlier comment, namely that he is ‘one of our better, more talented individuals’.

        Last season’s statistics could be hurled at virtually every member of the first team squad.

        The thing to remember and evaluate though, is that Stephen Ireland is capable of far, far better. Can the same be said of the majority of his team mates?

        • I don’t doubt that he is capable of better my concern would be whether or not he is bothered or whether he can produce better consistently.

          He had games for us last year where he looked a very good player (the 1st 45 mins at home to Arsenal before he got injured immediately springs to mind) but these were fleeting glimpses and most of the time what he produced ranged from decent to non existent.

          I’m neither in the sell, sell, sell or we have to keep brigade…….as I said in my longer post above, I wouldn’t lose any sleep either way. I do think that unless he is prepared to dig in and produce his best on a consistent basis then he is a player that is very replaceable and the money that would be brought in as a result of his sale could make him going the more attractive option.

          • Fair, well thought out response Mcgrath is king.

            And yes, I do understand where you’re coming from, even if I dont totally agree with you.

            He is without doubt one of our very few sellable assets, but as we have found out to our cost over recent summers, you cant keep waving goodbye to your better players, and expect to thrive.

          • Very true but in the case of Ireland in comparison to others particularly in the cases of Jimmy Milner and Gareth Barry these were quality players that if not at their best would still put a shift in…….far more difficult to replace and left a far bigger hole than Ireland would.

            If you (sorry thinking of a name from the top of my head) sold Ireland and replaced him with Kevin Nolan for example, Ireland certainly has more technical ability but given Nolan’s work ethic and tendency to chip in with goals which would add more to a side?

  10. I reckon PL’s being very canny and has put the word out on the qt he can go if the price is right. Selling him abroad would be quite shrewd too, so in the unlikely case he (Ireland) ever decides to apply himself and rediscovers the form from his early Man City days he can’t come back to haunt us. And say we can get £5m + his wages for a year, well by my calculations that would give PL about another £8-9M to spend.

  11. more than enough for us to bring more quality into the squad don’t you think BWS?

    • Macca if I was PL I’d snatch anyone’s hand off that offerd £4-5m for SI.And as rightly you say more than enough (inclusive of £3.6M wages) to get a quality replacement, one that’s committed for 90 minutes through 38 games.

      • That is the buzz word surrounding Ireland isn’t it…….commitment!! If he were dedicated and committed then he could be a very, very fine player……..does he care though??

        Having all the talent in the World is one thing but it means nothing without all the mental strength and commitment required to be a top class footballer.

  12. On other hand barren bent had meeting with Lambert last week and was saying Ireland is quality and needs to be in hole behind him.

    • Can you really see PL listening to BD’s opinion? The same BD that usually walks round with his hands on his hips for 87 minutes of every game.

      • Yeah, because Bent is the only player we currently have who can put the ball in the net. We should set the team up to create chances for him, like Houllier did. He didn’t do bad in that half a season did he! Ireland would create lots of chances for him, it would be madness to sell him.

        • “Currently have”, hopefully PL will remedy that situation and althoufh Bent may be a top drawer finisher if you take a look at his stats his assists are appalling and the average position of EPL teams he’s played for is 12th. And no you should build a team around any one player, it makes that team to one dimensional, predictable and easy to set up against (imo).

      • lol the same bent who kept us up the year before last by himself billy my thought of train was lambert has spoken to certain players maybe telling them how he intends to play etc. i get suprised how many people knock darren bent he is an out and out forward he did not score many last year due to the fact the we played no support no chances being made and im sure he would have led line in euros if fit. I think mr lambert has outlined to certain players if they want to be part of his tenure or leave… i no billy lest swap darren bent for grant holt.i was gutted last season for bent he cut a lone figure up front. iam hoping lambert can get best out of n zogbia and ireland all consturctive players going forward and way way to many times las year were being asked to defend fist and foremost..

        • Bent’s goal speaking record speaks for itself, you can’t argue with it, if PL gets 20-30 goals out him and we finish in the top half then its all good. But statistically his assists are piss poor and he is useless at holding the ball up and bringing others into play imo. Come on with his scoring record there must be a reason why the big guns aren’t kicking the door off the hinges at VP to acquire his services.
          It’s probably pretty obvious I’m not his biggest fan but then again I’m no expert.

          • *Bent’s goal scoring record*
            (I’m having a mare today)

          • I take your point billy but i am inthe corner he is a natural finisher and needs the chances made for him i don’t seem as that number 10 forwArd if we play one up front which will be him its who is behind him. i see your point mate but bent will never score twenty goals that way bringing others in then into box he needs to be already in box..

  13. Sell sell sell sell

  14. Sell Ireland, bring in Wes Hoolohan or Mark Davies for half the money and half the wages

  15. Ian, you must mean “I also HOPE* he would not be Paul Lambert’s ‘type of player’ “.

    Considering the fact hes the best passer and the most most technically gifted and skilful player in our team, i could only come to the conclusion you just dont like Ireland on a personal level. If any single player at the club fits this beautiful passing football that everyone is hoping to see under Paul Lambert, it is most definitely one hundred percent Stephen Ireland. So, for you to even suggest he wouldnt fit into Lambert’s plans or style of play is just ludicrous. Would you drop this pathetic grudge you hold against Ireland and for once give the lad a break. He was one of our best performers last season in a footballing system that completely contrasted the sort of the style that gets the best out of him. Lambert’s style of play is tailor made for Ireland, unlike McLeish’s which saw us constantly hoof the ball up the pitch and bypass the midfield.

    This is the first season he’ll have a proper opportunity to shine since moving to Villa, so give him another chance and quit your bitching until January at least.

    • Who would expect Lambert to produce beautiful football, just look at the long ball stats for Norwich.

      what I mean is that PL demands 100% from players ALL the time on and off the field. Now if Ireland could do that then no issue at all with him. His record has proved otherwise.

      I base my views on Ireland on his record.

      • I prefer to think that PL expects his players to do their job to the best of their ability.
        Which makes me think that if Ireland is used correctly, he could be great for us.

        He just needs encouraging, imo.
        Hence, I side with Aero’s view.

        Get him performing and I really think he could be the pivot in our side.

        By the same token, if he hasn’t shown anything by the winter window, get rid, sharpish.

        • I suspect the decision could be made easy in pre season

          • And you do what, exactly?

            Loan him out, on the cheap?

            I’d rather have him playing for us, doing what he does best.

            IE running at defences and not defending.

            Same as most of our players, who were expected to just defend under the wanker who shall not be named.

          • No team can afford to carry passengers Anon and imo that is just what Ireland is, plays when he feels in the mood.

  16. Ianrobo, ive been on here a few times and noticed your repeated slagging off of Ireland . He is the best technical footballer at the club . Hes going nowhere.

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