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omariqy

Stephen Ireland

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didnt simply say anything. You quoted half a sentence.

The point is hes not worth the wages, and Lambert should be looking to get him off the books as we are seemingly operating within a strict budget.

ie a luxury we cant afford. Time has run out.

SIs reputation based on THAT season is such that someone will pick him up, it just means taking a loss on him.

The team is full of nearly men and potentially good players, but theres a fair few in our squad id rather see playing than SI.

And I would imagine that any chat regarding wage budget would have led the manager and to look at all the high earners and their value to the club, heck he might even be prepared o listen to offers but there's more to that the club taking a hit on the fee, Ireland would need to prepared to take another pay cut to move on and I dont see why he would while he's stil getting picked by Villa.

And he's stil getting picked because the manager thinks he''s one of th best 11 players available.

Do you agree that hes one of our best 11 players?

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I cant answer that, I havn't seen the pre-season games and I dont watch every training session. But I think he was one of the better players in the team on sat, and in terms of talent and potential he is definatley amongst the top 5 players in our current squad.

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Time to get rid and use the 70k a week wages on 3 proper players

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Time to get rid and use the 70k a week wages on 3 proper players

Easier said than done, there dosent seem to be a a list of clubs with quality players who would get the best out of "world class" Ireland queuing up to sign him. I thought Barca might have had a bid by now, or at least on of the Milan clubs.

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Given some of the opinions you read you do wonder why a top club hasn't picked him up? I guess the reason is the same reason for why a top club hasn't bothered with N'Zogbia...

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First attempt at a real post...hope its up to scratch...

With regards Ireland I feel there are a couple of things that need to be given consideration...

1) to keep or get rid- Financial considerations?

I don't think it is realistic to to expect to offload Ireland at the moment. Firstly financially there isn't a string of suitors as mentioned earlier, so any price we get for him may be minimal, secondly there aren't too many clubs in the league that could match his wages (especially that want him) so it would probably cost the club to get rid of him in the form of a payoff similar to that which he got from city, probably in the region of €2m to make up the difference in his wages at a new club.

Based on the above, do we know if Lerner is willing to stump up the cash to bring in two midfielders as many are saying we could have when we have his wages off the books?? And if so how much and what quality would they be?

2) Performances to date

Given his first year and a half was disrupted by a combination of managerial changes, injuries and loan moves I think while not fully excusable it is acceptable to overlook this period as a period of transition and uncertainty in both the club and the player. Based on this, from his performances last year against Arsenal onwards I am by and large satisfied with his performances in a Villa shirt. He may not of been as outstanding, as a number on the site reckon, but he played quite well in the majority of games he played in and I wouldn't argue with him getting our player of the season as he was in my honest opinion better then the rest of an underperforming squad. His natural game suffered due to the arrival of Keane and being pushed on the wing (where I thought he worked hard and was far better than anything we had seen from Nzog or Marc Alb) then he played a number of games in a much deeper role (a great goal line clearance against Sunderland comes to mind). During this time I thought he played quite well, plenty of effort, hard work, good passing, never moaned and this is one reason his assists and goals tallys may have been lower than expected from a creative midfielder. My point is he didn't play there (AMC) that often and while he didn't, he proved he actually DOES have some versatility and adaptability in that time.

Potential

I disagree with a number of posters who reckon Lambert will get rid, I think he clearly sees the value Ireland has, namely his to ability to control the ball (shockingly a lot of our players still cant), one touch quick passing, vision, his confidence to try passes others won't, his ability to arrive late and score goals. All of these are undeniable in my eyes. This is the first time since he has been here we have a manager who has wanted to retain possession and try break down teams as opposed to long ball kick and hope tactics. This wont happen over night but it definitely wont happen if we don't have the players with the ability to do it.

Regarding Saturdays game, first half i thought he showed his ability to do this quite well, he played some very good passes, was full of running and was linking with holman quite nicely. Second half I felt the ball wasn't getting forward from Delph and Al fast enough and Ireland ended up coming deeper and deeper trying harder and harder to get involved. I wouldn't fault a player for wanting to be involved, but hiding is one thing I can't stand and felt other players did this the other day, particularly in the second half. I honestly felt this was through no fault of his own, something that was also recognised by lambert based on his substitutions. This WILL be worked on in training, addressed and improved upon in the next game i'd imagine (hope) and we should see an increased directness. At the end of the day, if the manager had given him different instructions or wanted him to do something differently i feel he would of at a minimum been roared at from the touchline until he obliged or else been replaced.

Similarly I'd have to question someones judgement above who compared him to Kawaga for united last night, he was a player who was allowed retain his position as Scholes and Co were constantly working the ball forward to him as opposed to sideways as we did on Saturday. He constantly had men on the overlap in Young, Valencia, Nani et co, United played with two strikers in front of him at times which increased his passing options, and both these forwards could actually take the ball to feet. Finally Everton were sitting a lot deeper than West Ham did defending a lead which was another reason he had to drop deep a lot less.

All and all I think he is without doubt the most talented player in the squad, underperformed to an extent since his arrival based on his ability but should definitely be persevered with under Lamberts regime until the manager has seen fit as to get rid of him. Until then I will support the player just like the manager does because he obviously believes in him. It was game 1 at the end of the day under a new manager.

Hope this was some way useful.

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Doesnt produce the quality of performance to warrant his wages, so I would sell if we can, hes had his chances and it hasnt worked out!

Wasn't he player of the year last season?

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He's been bog average with maybe 1 or 2 'very good' performances thrown in for good measure

We're all entitled to an opinion, and we all see the game differently, but he's supposed to be our creative spark, our flair player and basically he's not even coming remotely close to what it says on the tin

How long do you wait for the 'real' (ahem) Stephen Ireland to shine ?. Or do you start to think that 1 season at City was the fluke and the other 5/6+ seasons of averageness are his real level ?

They say form is temporary and class is permanent. In Ireland's case the form bit must have been that one solitary year if you look at it honestly

He's a nice bloke. Not that that matters one jot

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The problem is we are stuck with him, no ones going to buy him off us because basically hes had 2 assist and 1 goal in 2 years of football and is on massive wages. I do realise we are stuck with him, and I do hope Lambert can bring that well hidden gem out, but I have my doubts. It just irritates me when some fans make excuses for him like "the Players he plays with arnt on his level". Steven Ireland's level lower midtable at best...so yes they basically are.

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I see Ireland's' role becoming a linking player, distributing the ball to everyone else on the pitch, from all over the pitch, intercepting the oppositions passes rather than playing only behind the Striker, I think we're still to buy that specific player, with a cutting edge and a presence, however Ireland and El Ahmadi will function as a very effective central midfield pair.

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The problem is we are stuck with him, no ones going to buy him off us because basically hes had 2 assist and 1 goal in 2 years of football and is on massive wages. I do realise we are stuck with him, and I do hope Lambert can bring that well hidden gem out, but I have my doubts. It just irritates me when some fans make excuses for him like "the Players he plays with arnt on his level". Steven Ireland's level lower midtable at best...so yes they basically are.

I think we have the players who are at his level, they just havn't quite got to grips with the movement required is my point. In order to be effective anybody in that position needs the ball quickly with players busting a gut to get into a position to receive the ball. IMO Ireland should be looking up and seeing at least Bent and 2 other players either side of him in a position to receive the ball in an attacking position. This means the defence have to think about who to mark, where to position themselves and doesn't allow them to double up on any of our attacking options.

That would be the same if we replaced Ireland with Robbie Keane, Sigurdsson, Michu or anybody you care to mention. The only significant difference being we might see more shots from deeper from another player, but that is an indication the movement is still not right.

On sat the build up was too slow, yes we kept position, but in areas of the pitch the opposition were happy for us to have the ball in, it allowed the defence and midfield to get organised, and the lack of any real forward movement from midfield meant that when Ireland did get the ball his only option for an attacking pass was he heavily marked Bent.

For me it's not about replacing the players that play around Ireland it's about them having the confidence to make the right runs, I think Gabby will help when he comes back, and could see us maybe employing a forward 3 of N'Zog, Bent and Gabby with Ireland just behind.

It's early days but in my opinion I think this will be a big season for Ireland and hopefully he'll sar to win some of us over.

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The problem is we are stuck with him, no ones going to buy him off us because basically hes had 2 assist and 1 goal in 2 years of football and is on massive wages. I do realise we are stuck with him, and I do hope Lambert can bring that well hidden gem out, but I have my doubts. It just irritates me when some fans make excuses for him like "the Players he plays with arnt on his level". Steven Ireland's level lower midtable at best...so yes they basically are.

I think we have the players who are at his level, they just havn't quite got to grips with the movement required is my point. In order to be effective anybody in that position needs the ball quickly with players busting a gut to get into a position to receive the ball. IMO Ireland should be looking up and seeing at least Bent and 2 other players either side of him in a position to receive the ball in an attacking position. This means the defence have to think about who to mark, where to position themselves and doesn't allow them to double up on any of our attacking options.

That would be the same if we replaced Ireland with Robbie Keane, Sigurdsson, Michu or anybody you care to mention. The only significant difference being we might see more shots from deeper from another player, but that is an indication the movement is still not right.

On sat the build up was too slow, yes we kept position, but in areas of the pitch the opposition were happy for us to have the ball in, it allowed the defence and midfield to get organised, and the lack of any real forward movement from midfield meant that when Ireland did get the ball his only option for an attacking pass was he heavily marked Bent.

For me it's not about replacing the players that play around Ireland it's about them having the confidence to make the right runs, I think Gabby will help when he comes back, and could see us maybe employing a forward 3 of N'Zog, Bent and Gabby with Ireland just behind.

It's early days but in my opinion I think this will be a big season for Ireland and hopefully he'll sar to win some of us over.

I think we have the players who are at his level, they just havn't quite got to grips with the movement required is my point. In order to be effective anybody in that position needs the ball quickly with players busting a gut to get into a position to receive the ball. IMO Ireland should be looking up and seeing at least Bent and 2 other players either side of him in a position to receive the ball in an attacking position. This means the defence have to think about who to mark, where to position themselves and doesn't allow them to double up on any of our attacking options.

Yeah, I think you're bang on there. Hopefully all that will come (I know you're not saying it won't) as the season progresses through the coaching and gaining experience.

That would be the same if we replaced Ireland with Robbie Keane, Sigurdsson, Michu or anybody you care to mention. The only significant difference being we might see more shots from deeper from another player, but that is an indication the movement is still not right.

I would say it'd be a case of adding a Keane or a Sigurdsson etc rather than them being a replacement for Ireland.

I don't see Ireland as an attacking midfielder or someone who plays behind the striker. I think his football intelligence gives a possibility of playing him there but I don't think he's 100% comfortable, with that pressure.

I don't think he shoots enough to play that position, it seems to be shooting is not his instinct, passing the ball is.

To me, he seems comfortable playing in a central midfield partnership with someone that will do the majority of the defensive work (Although he will chip in) and I think he's found it in El Ahmadi.

I think Ireland is more effective, roaming the whole field, not only confined to the 'third quarter' linking the play with intelligent passes all over the pitch, like you write, he needs those infront of him to be busting a gut to get into a position to receive the ball in an attacking position,making defences think about who to mark.

Putting a bit of doubt and worry in to the opposition's' mind is what we're missing. I think the way Ireland does that is to play the pass they didn't see coming. But, like you write, he needs the players to run in to those positions.

On sat the build up was too slow, yes we kept position, but in areas of the pitch the opposition were happy for us to have the ball in, it allowed the defence and midfield to get organised, and the lack of any real forward movement from midfield meant that when Ireland did get the ball his only option for an attacking pass was a heavily marked Bent.

I completely agree with you on this. We were easy to defend against. This is why I think the crucial player we miss is this one (Or possibly two) with a presence and cutting edge and keep the opposition guessing infront of Ireland.

For me it's not about replacing the players that play around Ireland it's about them having the confidence to make the right runs, I think Gabby will help when he comes back, and could see us maybe employing a forward 3 of N'Zog, Bent and Gabby with Ireland just behind.

I think it's a case of either replacing the players infront of Ireland or, like you have written, that they develop the confidence and mentality to pass and move whilst also creating and converting chances.

Holman has an engine and will constantly move for Ireland to pick out a pass to, he's adapting the the Premiership and in my opinion it's still unknown if he possesses the intelligence to get one over on Premier League defences, I'm not saying he hasn't or never will, I just don't think we've seen it yet.

N'Zogbia has the intelligence, I think. He just doesn't seem to have the motivation to pass and move.

:) I think if we could squish Holman and N'Zogbia together and come out with a player possessing their qualities, we'd have a very effective player.

Although I do think there's a piece missing for those two too.

I find it hard to describe in written form but in my opinion, like I've already written, we missed a piece against West Ham.

I don't see it like this -

--------------Bent-------------

Holman---Ireland---N'Zogbia

---------???-----El Ahmadi----

I see it like this -

-----------Bent-------------

Holman---???---N'Zogbia

----Ireland--El Ahmadi--

The ??? in there for Ireland to pass to, not that position being Ireland.

I think that position needs to a tough, bustling, bullying, intimidating player whose confidence is hard to shake and winds the opposition up.

To me, it doesn't sound like Ireland. It could, if the instructions were given to him clearly enough, be Agbonlahor, but I worry he's too easy to work out. I still think we need to buy this player.

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Good points and I agree with a lot of what you say.

I ask myself the question - would I play Ireland in midfield in a 4-4-2? And I'd answer no personally meaning I wouldn't like him in the position in your second line up.

I think there's some mileage in this:

---------Bent----------

N'Zog---Ireland---Gabby

---Delph----El Ahmadi---

Provided Lambert is able to shove a rocket up both Charlie and Gabby's arses and get them playing the right way.

Failing that I think we need a proper No 10 and some better wingers.

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Wasn't there a rumour that his contract says he has to match the highest earner at the club?

Would be funny if we have sold off all the big earners by the end of the window and he has to take a big pay cut :D

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I'm bored of waiting for Stephen Ireland to turn up and and fulfil the role he's employed to do, and I'm bored of hearing excuses as to why it hasn't happened for him.

That wonder season he had for Citeh, just can't see it ever happening at our place.

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I'm bored of reading about people who are bored of waiting for Stephen Ireland to turn up, but that's not adding much to the debate either!

Obviously the manager has seen something in him that warrants a place in the side, so a few of us have debated what formation and combination of player would suit his natural game.

Perhaps stating who you would play instead and in what formation, or perhaps countering some of the points already raised my help alieviate some fo your boredom?

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I'm bored of reading about people who are bored of waiting for Stephen Ireland to turn up, but that's not adding much to the debate either!

Obviously the manager has seen something in him that warrants a place in the side, so a few of us have debated what formation and combination of player would suit his natural game.

Perhaps stating who you would play instead and in what formation, or perhaps countering some of the points already raised my help alieviate some fo your boredom?

:yawn:

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The Secret footballer is doing a live chat on the Guardians website atm, this applies to a certain SI i think.

Playing Sunday league football, I know lads who are absolutely top class in training. But for some reason, they're always rubbish on match days. Have you experienced players like this?"

TSF replies:

Definitely, every club has them. They are called the 'five-a-side player'. They are world-beaters in small sided games, you simply cant get the ball from them and their passing is excellent.

As soon as they are on a big pitch it is like playing with ten men. I couldn't tell you why though!

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The main thing with Ireland (And N'Zogbia too) is mentality.

Coaching staff getting him in to the right mentality and creating the atmosphere for him to flourish tying in with him sticking his finger out and focusing on his game.

Whether you think those are pointless, hopeless or impossible is another matter but I can understand people feeling those ways and having no patience with Ireland.

Me personally, I think Lambert will be a good manager for Ireland and with El Ahmadi next to him and players moving and working around him, with Bent in the six yard box, I think Ireland will flourish this season {Fingers crossed :) )

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