Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Ireland wants out

Sad but not surprising news in Tuesday's 'papers: Stephen Ireland is looking to leave City after a spirit-sapping season. This is no real surprise: Ireland has fallen, in the space of a year, from our best and most important player - our talisman, and - as an Academy graduate - a symbol of the club's enduring soul, to the same misfiring misfit he looked under Stuart Pearce. People say he's regressed to his state two or three years ago, which is true enough, but his excellence in 2008/09 showed that there is another way. That revelation, after the 5-1 against Hull, or his goal in Hamburg, that he could be our Scholes, our Gerrard will be difficult to shake off.

But if we're going to progress we need less sentimentality, not more: and a cool analysis will tell that Ireland and MCFC are now moving in opposite directions. He would not be a bad squad player to have, but he's 24 and keen to be playing regularly. If he can't at City then he will elsewhere.

The suggestion in The Guardian is that he might well go to Everton, in part exchange for Mikel Arteta. It's no secret that we need a creative midfielder, and that Arteta is a very good one. Mark Hughes was interested and it sounds as if the Player Acquisition Group might also be. I have my reservations here. I'm not too keen on our signing players from the Premier League, and one of the reasons for this is the considerable ill will we generated during our pursuit of Joleon Lescott. I'd rather not go through that again this summer. And on a practical level I imagine the Lescott saga will make David Moyes and Bill Kenwright even less keen on selling us Arteta than they would have otherwise been.

But the idea of using Ireland as a makeweight for a deal is a plausible one, as much for Arteta as for James Milner. Ireland would be an interesting replacement for Milner - he's a different type of player, with much less tactical discipline and much more magic - but he could be the man to bring an extra dimension to an Aston Villa side in some need of one. And Martin O'Neill might well see himself as the right sort of manager to put an arm on the shoulder of his fellow Irishman and coax his genius back out of him.

So these are all realistic scenarios. And I'd much rather Ireland went to either of these two than to his boyhood club across town.

10 comments:

thomas said...

Has genius been re defined?

Philip said...

Would be absolute madness to sell, but I am led to believe that he has not in fact put in such a request.

thunderand1bolt said...

Rather than sell him to one of our immediate rivals why not loan him out to rediscover his form and increase his value. He wants and needs regular games. It worked for Hart, (except the recall clause!). We dont need the money, last year United loaned out 17 players admitedly mostly youngsters to lower clubs but it is a useful way of gaining experience.

jason said...

i havent paid my window cleaner for over 6 months and hes just stung me with a 77 smackers of a bill.Im not tight but its made me realise id be far better off with my own ladders,it only takes him 10 minutes,robbing bastard.

jason said...

Oh yeh,as for Ireland let him go,best player 08-09 but didnt we lose 17 games,the standard of the squad has improved and is going to get stronger so if your not up to a fight then tootle off young man to a place where you feel you will be appreciated,and leave behind the club and supporters that made you,what a wimp!!!

Blue Phoenix - Moving on up! said...

Stevie is one of us I'm sure of it. Money talks and players walk of corse so I still feel he needs to adjust his attitude a bit.

Even if he does move will he expect to not have to change his attitude so what's the difference apart from the proverbiable nose to spite the face one liner.

Stevie leave your nose where your face is as it's not much use for smelling stuff when it's been cut off and stamped around in the dust!

Metaphorically speaking that is....

Blue Phoenix - Moving on up! said...

Oh and yeah interesting point Jason about loosing so many games.

Sometimes its easy to look good in a bad team as no one is expecting you to do anything remarkable.

If your pish and you know you are then tootle off as there will be better players arriving to make use of your locker.

Oh and yeah - don't be an idiot, any decision you make to leave City at this time in our history making era is just plain old foolish.

phil said...

You mentioned Scholes and Gerrard. I'm stating the obvious, but he just doesn't have the mentality to be that type of player for the club.

Not long after Mancini said that "he needs to change his head", did we hear of these stories of him wanting to leave. When a manager says something like that, it motivates a player like Gerrard to be his best, but with Ireland, I'm guessing it only hurt and offended him, making him want to leave even more if he was already thinking of it.

trinder said...

You can't be successful without being ruthless. If Ireland wants to leave, let him. Never carry squad members who aren't utterly committed, however much you like them when they play well.

Ireland should knuckle down and pipe down or follow the other favourites like Robinho, Elano and Sturridge out the door.

Paddy said...

The best players in the world can adapt their play to other positions in the team. I don't believe that Ireland can't. In fact I remember he played a few good games at the right side of midfield at the start of the 08/09 season. So the problem is with Ireland not the team. I do think we should get rid of him, but can't help thinking that he will shine under a good manager like Moyles or O'Neill.