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Is Stephen Ireland 'Retiring' To The MLS?

Yahoo Sports have picked up on some quotes about Michael Ballack.

Why does that affect Villa?

Well, if you gave me a second and stop interrupting I`ll tell you!

Apparently Ballack wants to move to the MLS but the New York Red Bulls are apparently more interested in our very own enigma, Stephen Ireland.

Ballacks agent, Michael Becker told that his player would love to play in New York but added that NY manager Erik Soler has "already made massive promises to Stephen Ireland in October."

Ireland action

His agent then 'attacks Ireland`... not the country, the player you understand?!

'Why would you go for a no-name player who no one knows, who hasn't started in months, when Michael Ballack is available?'

So... what would you do? Would you sell Ireland or are we just starting to see the glimpses of the quality player who this Club and team could desperately do with?

Let us know in the article comments and also, our new poll asks the very same!

Stephen Ireland thread in the forum: Click Here

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 20 2012

Time: 11:34AM

Your Comments

Would rather keep him, depends on what wages he is on and how he is in training/ dressing room etc really
The Fear
"'Why would you go for a no-name player who no one knows, who hasn't started in months, when Michael Ballack is available?'" - errr, cause Ballack's **** and older than the Queen, perhaps?
I guess it depends on how much they want to pay. If we could get the same money back (8m I think it was) then it might be worth doing. Also how much is he on? 70k I hear? Might be nice to get that off the wage bill. The trouble is attracting a decent replacement.
Sounds like Ballack's agent is a tad sour and needs to represent a younger player Ballack is over the hill..The MLS is getting bigger and no longer needs to take Europe's "oldies" for one last pay day!! Ballack will prob go to China they are the new up and comers and may well pay for a knackered old German for another season or two.
only 1 spurs
Keep him IMO looked class lately
Definitely keep him, would be stupid to sell unless of course his wages are a huge problem. He's only starting to come good now, and one of the few creative players we have. Brett Holman is not his replacement.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
Got to be a balance between wages and urgency of need. He has started to show glimpses of the decent player we know he is, but is it too little too late.
Offered very little that one of our 'young' up & coming players couldn't do on such a "consistent" basis, so to get 70k a week off the books i'd say if we can get a 5m transfer fee for him it's great business.....
It all depends on where is head is, we are beginning to see the quality he has. Hopefully he has sorted his head out, must have as he said he woukld like to get back to international football for the World cup campaign. COTVABU
irish villa
5mil for a player we 'paid' 8 for who is now in his prime and clearly has quality in him? How is that great business, in this day & age? Ok, so he's not currently playing at the top of his game, but he's on the up...didn't Chelsea pay 50mil for some striker who used to be good, but now isnt, but still might become good again? Same sort of story with Ireland, surely? I'm not saying we'd get anywhere near that for Stevie, but I'd expect at least what we paid for him, especially when you consider we managed to flog Downing for 20million!!
His wages must be a problem. He's playing better, true, shows glimpses of quality, but the gaffers will want to cash in if possible.
Keep him,just coming good,all he needs is a couple of players round him playing a quick pass and move game,some of the kids coming through play like that and can see some good stuff to come from it.
Manhattan Or Sutton Coldfield ?? Good Luck Stephen !!!
Get rid, he is a complete knob, I am fed up of us not having professional players, we have all this crap, Banan, Albrighton, Nzog, all not good enough so just get rid and get committed football players.
As good as he could be i promise he wages are a problem. We got him from Man City. Most payed player at the club other that Dunn maybe. Man city ruin talented players by overpaying them so when they move they cannot stay at clubs in the long run without taking a MASSIVE pay cut. They will keep moving their entire career unless they play amazing football. He will be gone in the summer.
Selling Ireland? Massive mistake considering only him and petrov can consistantly pass the ball to a villa player... Bannan tries to many hollywood passes atm...
If his wages are as high as quoted above then yes I would sell we seem to have an abundance of underperforming artisans e.g. Nzobia & hollywood Bannan and lack someone who can put in a decent tackle and do the donkey work. I say this even allowing for the poor tactics we have used as a team at times,how we would benifit from a Parker in our team now.
Depends whether we have to pay him off if we sell him? If we do then keep him and get the best out of him!
Chelt Villan
The interview was from last summer. UTV
He is starting to look good to be honest, Don't think he will become the player he can under Mcnegative, won't be gutted if he goes, gives us the chance to bring in someone else or a youth player...move on.
I was thinking the same as astonmilan actually. Ireland has been far improved and I am the only cynic who thinks the barb 'defending' his client sounds more like an attempt to embarrass the club into acting?
If we didn't have this wages issue at the club then i would definetly keep him as he is showing signs of rekindling his old form back lately, but if we could get 8million for him approx and with him reportedley on 80k we could sign 2 players for 40k week and provide more experiance into the squad and competition.
Can't let this lad go he's fantastic and our future.
Stupid to sell him now he is finally starting to play better and looks like his head is getting sorted, we wouldn't get 8mil for him now and nobody else would pay him 70k a week so its better for both parties if he stays and trys to become the player we all know he can be, he is our only player that can pass and be creative and anyone who can do that in a McDraw team must have some class, him and our youth are our future and we should build around them.
I'd keep him. He's been showing signs of what he can do and what we all expected from him. Just ima'd be like playing for a REAL MANAGER.......
Pride of Lions
he's a class above any other player we have on the pitch, his first touch, vision and football intelligence (yes I know his a dick off the pitch) make him stand out every game. Not really sure where people get this inconsistent guff from, he's constantly first or second in the motm polls. Unfortunately if his wages are as high as claimed then unless he's prepared to take a wage cut he'll be sold to balance the books.

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