Looking at this report in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph that Irish midfielder Stephen Ireland had been frozen out of the Aston Villa first team set-up and forced to train with the club’s under 21 squad made us think; “isn’t it time we looked back at the curious world of Stephen Ireland?”
Let’s look at some of the more interesting parts of his career so far
- 2003 – Has a bust up with Irish underage manager Brian Kerr as he wasn’t happy being a substitute in a game played in Cork’s Turners Cross ground. Kerr was made Ireland senior manager shortly after that. Kerr vows never to pick him again.
- 2005 – Makes his Premier League debut with Man City and takes the league by storm
- 2006 – Steve Staunton becomes ROI manager and picks Ireland in his first squad. Making his debut against Sweden
- 2007 – Scores late, late winner to save Ireland the embarrassment of drawing in San Marino
[youtube [Watch Video]]
- 2007 – Pulls out of Ireland squad for game against Czech Republic, citing his dead granny. Media learns that granny is still alive, so Ireland switches story to his other granny. Media learn that she’s alive too. Ireland admits that it was a lie to cover up his girlfriend’s miscarriage. Staunton vows never to pick him again.
- 2008 – As Ireland excels in the Premier League, huge media campaign here for new manager Giovanni Trapattoni to call Ireland up to the international squad. Trap reveals that he talked to Ireland who told him that he’d make himself available when ready
- 2009 – Wins Man City’s player of the year and regarded as one of the best young players in the Premier League. Signs new 5 year deal
- 2009 - This photo of his car is widely circulated.
- 2009 – Tells the Guardian he never liked playing for his country anyway.
- 2010 – Does a photo spread with his girlfriend for VIP magazine. Includes this humble gem;
- 2010 – Signs for Aston Villa as part exchange for James Milner. He had initially sought a payment of £2 million from Man City
- 2011 – Poor form sees him loaned out to Newcastle in January. He plays a total of 49 minutes for them due to injuries
- 2011 – Before he can make his debut he poses for this photo in a Newcastle nightclub with team mates Leon Best and Stephen Folan (recently signed with Limerick). Forced to apologise.
- 2011 – Return to Aston Villa. His girlfriend tweets this
— jessica lawlor (@jessica_lawlor) December 22, 2011
- 2012 – Ends the season in decent form and wins Villa supporters player of the year.
- 2012 - Gives a driving lesson to his girlfriend on Celebrity Banisteoir. Yeah, you read that right.
- 2013 – Sent to play with the Villa reserves due to form
Say what you like about Ireland, but he’s clearly not boring. You'll have plenty of people saying he's wasted his talent and you'll have plenty of people trying to psycho-analyse him. We don't do that here at balls.ie. You can make your own mind up about the curious world of Stephen Ireland.