Pros and Cons of Stephen Ireland Staying At Aston Villa
Stephen Ireland has had two tumultous seasons at Aston Villa. In his maiden campaign, Gerard Houllier refused to ackowledge him as a member of his squad, asking him not to be bother travelling to Villa Park for matchdays.
With the arrival of Alex McLeish, a resurgence came. He was utilised far more often but in a system that doesn’t suit him. At times he seemed unhappy, especially when being subbed off.
With fresh speculation to Queens Park Rangers (amongst other clubs) what decision should the club make regarding his future?
There’s no doubt about it, there’s talent in there. At times last season he marshalled the Villa midfield and retained the ball well under pressure. Specifically against Fulham, he ran the game and assured our dominance in the first half.
It did seem a little crazy to play long ball football when you’ve got Barry Bannan, Gary Gardner and Ireland in the middle – three players very capable of passing it around.
Modern football demands you play more than one position comfortably and Ireland does just that. Paul Lambert utilised over five different formations last season, showing willingess to switch it up when the need arises.
This could keep Ireland in favour, as he plays central midfield and attacking midfield comfortably, whilst showing ability to fill in on the right side at Manchester City too.
It’s no secret Villa are cutting back on wages and letting Emile Heskey go was a huge help in that department. Ireland commands a considerable wage though, as rumours and reports suggest around £70,000 p/w is being spent on the Irish midfielder.
If Lambert is instructed to cut back even further, Ireland could be the one asked to leave. He may be talented, but do his wages match his talent?
Ability to strop
You get the impression Lambert takes no prisoners. His press conference at Adam Drury’s testimonial is evidence for that, as the fiery Scot attacked reporters sniffing for a quote on his managerial situation.
It’s a widely known fact that Ireland has his ups and downs. He can always find something to be unhappy with and you just wonder if one episode will mean the end.
What do you think? If a bid of £4 million came in, would you rebuff the bid or sell? For that matter, how much is he worth?
Thanks to Sam Tighe for the latest post, UTV.