View Poll Results: Do you want Stephen Ireland back in the Ireland fold

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  • Yes

    253 46.00%
  • Yes - After an apology

    151 27.45%
  • No

    146 26.55%
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Thread: Stephen Ireland (M free agent b.1986)

  1. #4221
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    There's an interview with Ireland in the Athletic today. I'm not sure how much oxygen to give this guy. He states that he is working hard to get back to playing in the Premier League again, doing private fitness sessions, and he reckons he has the body of 27 or 28 year-old so could do 3 or 4 years.

    Then, the piece goes as follows:

    He will also say for the first time that, yes, he wants to play again for the Republic of Ireland. “The dream would be: get back with a club, smash it, go back to Ireland and undo all that scenario.”

    Further bits on his Ireland career:
    Ireland will probably never be allowed to forget the time he made up the story about his grandmother dying to get compassionate leave from international duty. The reality was his girlfriend had had a miscarriage. The lie was uncovered and, panicking, Ireland tried to make out it was his other grandmother.
    Don’t overlook the fact, however, that the principal reason why he gave up playing for his country, aged 21, was because he wanted to be a good dad.
    “It came down to prioritising. Can I leave my kids for two weeks to play for Ireland? As much as I’d loved to have done that, I couldn’t. I was away at matches, stressed out of my head because of my kids. I had no support. I had to pick option A or option B. But of course, I wish things could have been different.
    “Why wouldn’t I want to play for my country 150 times? Why wouldn’t I want to be an Irish hero? Who would turn their nose up at that? Why would it ever be my agenda to be disliked in Ireland? I had death threats, I had all sorts. Christ, I didn’t want to leave the way I did. I didn’t want to be disliked in my own country but it came out of circumstances which were tough.”

    Ireland will later say that one of the reasons why he thought he could get away with Granny-gate was because he did not comprehend what fame actually was. He had made his Irish debut at 19 and scored four times in six appearances but he didn’t understand what came with it. “I genuinely didn’t think it would get into the press,” he says. “I didn’t realise the onslaught because I didn’t know how big I was.”

    The bigger regret, however, will always be the breakdown of his relationship with Mancini.
    “He definitely had an issue with me, 100 per cent. Giovanni Trapattoni was the manager of Ireland at the time and they were best mates. Mancini kept saying to me, ‘Go back, go back. You need to go back to play’. I said to him, ‘Right now, I’m not even playing for Man City. That has to be my focus’ but he wouldn’t let up.
    “I was always first to team meetings because I was so good with timekeeping. I’d walk into the room and sometimes, it was only me and him there. I’d think, ‘Oh ****!’ — I knew what was coming. We might have a really important game the next day but he wouldn’t stop talking about me going back to Ireland. In the end, I said, ‘Look, get Trapattoni over here, we’ll sit down, have a coffee and try to hammer it out together’. It never happened though.”
    Last edited by Olé Olé; 24/06/2020 at 7:04 AM.

  2. #4222
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    I just can't take Ireland seriously though. There's such a tone of "what if" in there and constant reminders from him of people's regard for his ability- Bruno Fernandes has moved in near him and became acquainted and Fernandes told Ireland he had a poster of him as a kid, Anelka saying good things about him, ditto Paul Bosvelt, being embraced by Joan Laporta after a friendly with Barcelona, being chased by United, Spurs, Arsenal and, later, Valencia and Villareal. I can't understand what goes on in his mind.

    His son gets a mention:

    Joshua, his eldest son, is now an England under-16 international at Stoke who has clubs from abroad, as well as the Premier League, chasing him. Jacob, who wanders into this interview in his own England shirt, is already so dedicated to being a footballer that, at the age of 12, he measures his calories intake. And Ireland feels relieved that the culture of the dressing room today is not what he had to experience 15 years ago.

    As far as i'm aware, Joshua's mother is Irish and living in Ireland but has grown up in England with Stephen and his new wife.

    It would be a difficult one for the FAI to pursue unless bridges were re-built with Ireland. That said, there is a marked change in the management and coaches from underage to senior that would surely make that process easier.
    Last edited by Olé Olé; 24/06/2020 at 7:08 AM.

  3. #4223
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    I’d like to hear from his Grand Mothers before I would put any faith in that fella ! !

  4. #4224
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    Everyone likes a comeback story but this one is just too far fetched. Leaving aside the international side of things, what club would sign him with all the baggage he brings with him. I'm sure he means well with the Ireland situation but there would be little to gain if he ever came back relative to the potential damage that would be done if it all went wrong again.

    It's a shame that he has also failed to develop any sense of Irishness in his son but it sounds like he has no interest in playing for us either.

    It's long past time to move on at this stage.
    Keane O'Shea Given Best Long Cox

  5. #4225
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    He's 33, will be 34 in August, and hasn't played club football in more than two years. Does he really think he's going to get a contract anywhere?
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    He's not living in the real world. I wonder did he ask his agent to set up the interview after getting a confidence boost off his new neighbour, Bruno Fernandes.

  8. #4227
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    He's 33, will be 34 in August, and hasn't played club football in more than two years. Does he really think he's going to get a contract anywhere?
    You forgot the met for the last 7 years of his career, he was cr*p. Villa bombed him out to Newcastle and then Stoke before any serious injury.

    Waste of oxygen.

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  10. #4228
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    There's something distasteful about the way he uses the Ireland team as a way of furthering his club career. All the press releases and leaked stories over the years that coincided with Ireland games, and now this. I dont think it's delusional - I'd forgive him that - just downright cold and calculating. He's been a yesterday man for me for 13 years, and I'm happy to see it stay that way.
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

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  12. #4229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olé Olé View Post
    There's an interview with Ireland in the Athletic today. I'm not sure how much oxygen to give this guy. He states that he is working hard to get back to playing in the Premier League again, doing private fitness sessions, and he reckons he has the body of 27 or 28 year-old so could do 3 or 4 years.

    The bigger regret, however, will always be the breakdown of his relationship with Mancini.
    “He definitely had an issue with me, 100 per cent. Giovanni Trapattoni was the manager of Ireland at the time and they were best mates. Mancini kept saying to me, ‘Go back, go back. You need to go back to play’. I said to him, ‘Right now, I’m not even playing for Man City. That has to be my focus’ but he wouldn’t let up.
    “I was always first to team meetings because I was so good with timekeeping. I’d walk into the room and sometimes, it was only me and him there. I’d think, ‘Oh ****!’ — I knew what was coming. We might have a really important game the next day but he wouldn’t stop talking about me going back to Ireland. In the end, I said, ‘Look, get Trapattoni over here, we’ll sit down, have a coffee and try to hammer it out together’. It never happened though.”
    He a strange guy alright, everybody has it in for him. Does he now deny meeting Trap and revises even his own account of history from that time?

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  14. #4230
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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    He a strange guy alright, everybody has it in for him. Does he now deny meeting Trap and revises even his own account of history from that time?
    There are serious issues upstairs by this guy. I reckon narcissism is the tip of the iceberg.

    It is 13 years since he played for us and 11 years since he played a full season for a club. And he's making delusional comments like he did in that interview.

    It's a hilarious read. The following two passages are utterly hilarious- almost satirical:
    He is thinking back to happier times; one game, in particular, when it was Ireland who was glowing.
    “We played against Barcelona in pre-season and I was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. Messi was playing. He went on one of his mad runs and I just thought, ‘I have to tackle him’. I did this massive hook tackle on him. It was an amazing tackle.
    “There were four or five times when I read his passes and intercepted them. I went round him. I gave him the eyes and went a different way. It was cool, really cool, to be out there with him. On occasions like that, you’re more alert, you try harder. You run quicker, you see more. I’m built for that.”

    Yet, on the other hand, Ireland cannot quite believe that the young Bruno Fernandes had posters of him. He can never get used to star players recognising him, even though he has mixed in football circles for two decades, and he sounds even more perplexed when he remembers the friendly against Milan when Andrea Pirlo asked him to swap shirts.
    “I was like, ‘Whaaaat? Pirlo wants my shirt?’. After the game, Daniel Sturridge turned to me, ‘Oh, but I asked him for it ages ago’. I said, ‘Take it’ and handed it over. It didn’t matter. All I could think was, ‘Does Pirlo know who I am? Does he watch football and realise I’m a good player?’.”

  15. #4231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olé Olé View Post
    There are serious issues upstairs by this guy. I reckon narcissism is the tip of the iceberg.

    It is 13 years since he played for us and 11 years since he played a full season for a club. And he's making delusional comments like he did in that interview.

    It's a hilarious read. The following two passages are utterly hilarious- almost satirical:
    He is thinking back to happier times; one game, in particular, when it was Ireland who was glowing.
    “We played against Barcelona in pre-season and I was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. Messi was playing. He went on one of his mad runs and I just thought, ‘I have to tackle him’. I did this massive hook tackle on him. It was an amazing tackle.
    “There were four or five times when I read his passes and intercepted them. I went round him. I gave him the eyes and went a different way. It was cool, really cool, to be out there with him. On occasions like that, you’re more alert, you try harder. You run quicker, you see more. I’m built for that.”

    Yet, on the other hand, Ireland cannot quite believe that the young Bruno Fernandes had posters of him. He can never get used to star players recognising him, even though he has mixed in football circles for two decades, and he sounds even more perplexed when he remembers the friendly against Milan when Andrea Pirlo asked him to swap shirts.
    “I was like, ‘Whaaaat? Pirlo wants my shirt?’. After the game, Daniel Sturridge turned to me, ‘Oh, but I asked him for it ages ago’. I said, ‘Take it’ and handed it over. It didn’t matter. All I could think was, ‘Does Pirlo know who I am? Does he watch football and realise I’m a good player?’.”
    So Basically he dreamed of being a Big Star and it did not work out ! That lad is better off left asleep and dreaming ! !

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