Aston Villa - Ireland Was Injured
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Ireland Was Injured

Alex McLeish has said he substituted Stephen Ireland because he had an ankle problem, and not, as has been reported because he told him to 'eff off'.

Speaking to the Official Site McLeish said.

'Stevie had an ankle problem and wasn't able to close down. Guthrie sidestepped him to put the cross in, I thought it was too easy and Stevie should have been making that tackle or at least putting a block on the cross. It was clear at half time that he didn't have the capacity to get close to people.'

Curiously he then adds.

'His touch was still great at certain moments. But at this level in the Premier League you need players with legs and energy.'

Which is why he regularly subs players who have run out of puff I presume.

To the Birmingham Mail he said.

'I know he spoke back, but at the same time, players don't like to hear the manager screaming at them from the touchline. But I kick every ball with them, I am passionate, I care and I wouldn't be so petty to take a player off for something like that if he is doing a fantastic job.'

McLeish also comments on the substitution of N'Zogbia.

'With Charles I just felt that Obertans was getting on the ball too easily and was able to run hat the back four without any doubling up. I felt Charles was just isolating Warnock a little bit. I needed the gap filled because Newcastle were able to get out there.'

So he brings Heskey on.

All good stuff isn't it.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 5 2012

Time: 7:52PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
well i disagree with the nzogbia explanation, thats negative and defensive.
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05/02/2012 19:57:00

"players don't like to hear their manager screaming at them from the touchline" - so don't do it then you muppet!!!
Report Abuse
05/02/2012 20:44:00

So he wanted Zog to play as an extra ******** defender!!!!!
Report Abuse
05/02/2012 21:02:00

Its getting clearer and clearer to me, Eck has lost the dressing room, we are now seeing the fruititons of this publicly, can't see Eck getting out of this.
Report Abuse
05/02/2012 22:38:00

He's an embarassment, isn't he.
Report Abuse
05/02/2012 23:17:00

So sad to see the club in such turmoil and giving of negativity, never thought I would see the day, I know we had moments with the board must go and such like but Randy has made i hell of a big mistake.
Report Abuse
05/02/2012 23:51:00

Pride of Lions
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06/02/2012 01:02:00

I feel sick..... What an idiot
Report Abuse
06/02/2012 08:19:00

Newcastle were missing there two best midfielders. They had two players taken off injured in the first half. And our response . . . . . . well what was our response? The manager has obviously and in full view of the TV cameras lost the dressing room. If there is anybody left who thinks McLeish should still be at Villa Park please come on here and explain why? I was threatened with ejection from Villa Park last week becuase I had a McLeish out banner. I beg of everybody, do everything you can to get rid of this muppet from Villa Park. Get in letters to the Birmingham Mail, send letters directly to Randy and Paul Faulkner, get on Talksport. If you can't get a banner made in time for Sundays game against ManCiteh, just a simple A4 sized piece of paper saying 'Eck out' will do. It is another live game on TV and this is a chance to show that we want McLeish out. Up the Villa.
Report Abuse
06/02/2012 08:23:00

Right, I haven't posted a comment for months regarding McLeish because I wanted to give him a fair crack rather than judging on a few games. Firstly, I have to state that this is the lowest I have felt about our club since this joining this site about five years ago. I was watching the match with my father in law (ex FA official and a mind of information and experience) and between us we grinned ferverishly at our opening attacking play and many shots. We also, winced at the awful League 1 defending abilities of Warnock. Anyway, at half time we were well happy and coversing on the possibilites of Keane staying and how different and potent a team we are with him; could we buy him out of the LA contract? THEN the second half started WITHOUT Ireland and we were half the team - the Hyde half? Ask Eck...he made us change. For the worse. So then we lost. Gardner should have been on instead of Bannan in the first instance and in any case Ireland was fit enough - I didn't see any tackles from Obertan so McLeish's excuse doesn't wash. I would have hoped that Bannan would have been told to keep the ball on the ground instead of worldy passes and no back tracking. Taking Nzo off was appaling too - we just sat back and invited their fit and hungry strikers to have a go - and they did. Now this is my problem with McLeish. He regularly looks at tiny errors and picks up on them and punishes the players mercilessly; there's two things wrong with that, 1) He's not my wife and 2) He keeps using these pearls of wisdom and expose himself as tactically naive and morale sapping. Hence, we lost! We are now a team with immense attacking talent and a nervy manager who can't go for it and ALWAYS settles for a point which invariably turns into no points. He is not changing this. We are getting worse. He has lost the dressing room and the supporters faith. We are well aware of the budget restrictions but we still have a squad strong enough to defend and defend well - yet they can't even dop that. I'm fed up of being the team that players know they can score a 'worldy' against because we have no real men in midfield. That's no disrespect to Petrov and co but we have needed a proper hard player in their for years now so what do we do? We put kids (defenders!!!!) and an ageing Petrov in there and when that doesn't work we sub the skilfull players creating space and then blame the bloody striker for not netting! Krul aside - stop singling out players! Accept the blame yourself - even Wenger does that and he sees F all. Have some humility and listen. I think it's too late for McLeish to go but we have to get another guy in next season. Whether it's Lambert, Pulis, Hodgson or another proven guy - it has to happen. We must change this. Lerner must act and show some management steel. I am a true advocate of Lerner - he has changed this club for the better but got seriously mugged off by an indulgent MoN who went stale and should've been shown the door - it'll happen at Sunderland - the recipe is simple - get your wingers to attack and the midfielders to have a swing and let the strikers stay up top and do the rest - it worked here but he didn't evolve it and got bloody minded. McLeish hasn't even got the nouse to let us attack! I'm with you VOTH.
Report Abuse
06/02/2012 10:35:00

Quote in Express and Star , Zog substitution with Heskey was tactical .... What tactical !!! the beggars belief what does that give us nothing going forward and no possible chance of a goal from the player coming on .... McLeish please go !
Report Abuse
06/02/2012 11:24:00

As I stated in a cake/biscuit article on here sometime back - gingerNUT! No sense. No clue.
Report Abuse
06/02/2012 13:00:00

More stupid Ecksuses, Ireland was not injuried he was running around freely and playing good football withut hoofing, he was subbed because he didnt hoof and didnt defend good enough which is hardly a shock from a player that has been attacking his whole carrer, as for taking Nzog off for Heskey, while I agree Nzog was not playing well and giving the ball away too much thats because he was isolated with Warnock staying back and anyway to replace him with Heskey was so negative you could see all the players put their heads down knowing that the manager wants a draw and thats the height of his ambition, hopefully with the players becoming more public about their hatred of the football being played it will be the end of ECK but it could also mean that these players (Ireland, Nzog, Bent) who we know with a proper manager can be brilliant game changing players will all be sold and replaced with mediocore defensive players with no ambition but to linger in mid table... we need to get this idiot out ASAP
Report Abuse
06/02/2012 19:12:00

About Ireland being injured excuse, I would like to quote Jim Kelly in the classic 1973 film Enter the Dragon: "Buull-5hit Mr Han Man!" Now, Jim AKA Williams then goes on to get his ass kicked by an apopleptic Han who attacks mercilessly.....if only!
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06/02/2012 23:35:00


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