Ireland: “I didn’t come here just to get treatment – I came here to play.”

Ireland ready for action.
Stephen Ireland is edging ever closer to making his first-team debut for Newcastle, but the midfielder is refusing to put a definitive timescale upon his return.

Ireland signed from Aston Villa in a loan deal until the end of the season on transfer deadline day, but injury has meant that he has been unable to fully get involved in the first-team squad and do the things that footballers do, like train and play football obviously.

The 24-year-old has been making progress on his return to fitness though and seems to believe that he is not a million miles away from returning to full training, which kind of ties in with what I said in the brief injury update I wrote a couple of days ago.

Talking to the official club website, Ireland had this to say:

“We thought it would be a couple of weeks, but I went running outside today (Thursday) at a decent level and decent pace, and I reckon it could be by the end of next week hopefully. I’ve just got to do a few more sessions and then see how far I can push it. If it goes well then I could be back soon.”

Ireland has a lot to prove at Newcastle, not only to fans who are waiting to see if he actually has the hunger for the game, but also for Ireland himself who will no doubt be looking to regain his confidence and form. If he can do that at Newcastle and make an impact in the latter stage of the season then it will quite obviously help us out.

He could be in training by the end of next week, but when pushed about a potential date to make his debut for the first team, Ireland was understandably non-committal and was not willing to name a specific game. He continued:

“I haven’t got any specific game in mind. I’ve just got to take a day at a time really, because one day it could feel amazing and then the next day really bad. It’s quite strange, but I have to see how I feel on a day to day basis. I just need to get back on the field now. I’m frustrated with the injury I’ve got at the moment.

Ireland then spoke of his frustration about not being able to get involved properly:

“After two weeks at a club you want to be getting involved in the playing and training, but I’m not far away. I didn’t come here just to get treatment – I came here to play. Thankfully things are getting right now and I’m almost there.”

That last little bit about coming here to play is what I want to see. It shows me that Ireland has the right approach and will fit in with this team. He may be branded a ‘Flash Harry’ for his extravagant lifestyle, over the top house with that awful pink room, and fleet of cars, but if he is prepared to knuckle down and give his all then people will get behind him.

I think he’ll be a cracking player for us. I think he lost his way at Aston Villa a little bit and never really wanted to leave Manchester City. That move sent him into a bit of a sulk and things have spiralled from there. Perhaps now though he has realised that he isn’t at Manchester City any more and needs to prove himself outside of the comfort zone that was the club he grew up with?

Whatever! I just can’t wait to see him action for Newcastle!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

46 thoughts on “Ireland: “I didn’t come here just to get treatment – I came here to play.”

  1. So who’s going to our player of the season?
    Probably Barton aye? He’s been outstanding this season, so now imagine how well Ireland must have played to have won the same award.
    Cracking player on his day like, Will come is useful when we’re safe, swap him with Nolan, Barton etc to give them a bit of a rest.


  2. I would throw Colocinni’s in there as well, just purely because of his consistancy. Anyone can have a one off, but the best do it all the time!

    But it’s Barton for me for his impact, desire, attitude, consistency and team spirit, he’s been the heart of our team, if he plays well, we play well, we’ve seen it many time this season.


  3. I think when you look at players like Ireland coming into the side with a point to prove. Shola having to win his place back with Ranger seemingly improving and of course the long awaited return of Hatem Ben Arfa….it would be ridiculous not to aim for Europe.

    Liverpool were also awful last night and didn’t even muster a shot on target….”I’d Love It, I’d just love it if we beat them”


  4. Seems a daft transfer when he aint gonna play for another month!

    It’s hard to seperate, tiote, enrique, colo, barton and even nolan id probs say Tiote, CM is a crucial position, if gives others freedom, i mean, remember the days that was butt or smithys job?? No thanks.

    6pts in these 2 games please πŸ˜‰


  5. has any 1 seen the enrique article in the sun πŸ˜† at the beging of the season our aim was europe πŸ˜† where do they get it from


  6. Batty – typical it ain’t it, as soon as were looking alright the ****ney media tw@ts startin writing sh:te!


  7. See The Sun have regurgitated that story from La Marca on Enrique, however with a more aggressive slant on it, headline: Enrique: Get me out of Toon!!
    JOSE ENRIQUE last night threatened to quit Newcastle after accusing them of breaking promises to strengthen the club.

    lol f’kin pathetic, but people will take it in, there’s already a load of comments after it. Think he’ll be off though. As soon as we’re safe we should be looking for a new l/b, even for just for the worst case scenario


  8. I noticed Evra has signed a new contract Man Ure, so they shouldn’t need another left back.

    Just leaves Liverpool who is the obvious who need a left back. I’d be dissapointed if he left us for Villa.

    In fact I’d be dissapointed in him if he left for anyone if we show ambition in the summer and spend some serious cash, that lets be honest, we do have that now.


  9. Enrique, who has ambitions to play in the Champions League and for Spain, said: “Our goal at the start of the season was to qualify for the Europa League but the reality now is different.

    “Today it will be difficult to qualify for Europe because the staff has been cut and players have left.

    “Andy Carroll was a great striker for Newcastle. He was a key player.

    “But he is not the only player who has left and now we are short-staffed.

    “There are a lot of colleagues who only made their Premier League debuts this year and we have no replacement players for some positions. If we suffer injuries to major players we’ll have problems.

    “The club has promised that all the Carroll money will go towards new players. I hope that is so.

    “But I have been promised things before that have not materialised.”

    Enrique, 25, has 16 months left on the contract he signed when he joined Newcastle from Villarreal for Β£6.5million in 2007.

    But he does not expect to be on Tyneside for much longer and has been alerted by speculation linking him to a move.

    He said: “It’s a compliment to read in the newspapers that teams like Liverpool, Manchester United and Aston Villa want me.

    “I love the fans here and suffered with them when we were relegated. But we have to be realistic. Newcastle aren’t performing well.

    “Like any player, I am ambitious. I want to play in the Champions League and other major competitions. And I want to play for my country.

    “The Premier League is tight and it is difficult for Newcastle but we have won several important games recently and now are ninth. With three more wins, we could be safe, which has always been one of our main objectives

    In fairness if (and it’s a big if) he said these things he’s not that wrong.

    Although in one paragraph he says we wanted to get into Europe then at the end says we just wanted to stay up…

    Think this might be put down to the good old ‘misinterpretation’.


  10. Stu
    yeah I noticed that, he said that the objective was Europe, then later in the interview he said the main objective of the season was to stay up!?!?!

    But you’re right though, he’s not said anything THAT inaccurate or even bad in the interview.


  11. stu if hes sed that its a load of ******* m8 , not playing well ,i think were playing the best footy ive seen for ages


  12. Baty
    it’s a bit of mistranslation. If you read through the who interview when he said we aren’t playing well he is actually talking about the club (board) not living up to what they said, not actually the players not playing well.


  13. Batty – what I really meant to say is when we qualify for Europe it will be our best season for 7 years!!! πŸ˜†


  14. β€œI love the fans here and suffered with them when we were relegated. But we have to be realistic. Newcastle aren’t performing well.<<< i think the sun just wrote what they wanted too ****in hate the ****e stirring b@stards


  15. I know Batty. I reckon 8 of our last 11 games are definitely winnable. Trouble is its those “winnable” games that we’ve struggled with this season.


  16. You would be pi$$ed off if he went to anybody other than a top four club. Liverpool FFS are no better than us. Who needs him?
    Arse, manure and chelski have quality left backs (debate could be who is best but very litte in it)

    I have a 5underland fan as an acquaintance in the bookies and he says the unwashed won’t get a point from their next four games.
    Liverpool also have tough games including us.
    Can we really make 7th place . Would that be enough or is 6th the basic requirement for Europa league


  17. Where does it say Evra has signed a new deal, i believe you’s but i just wanted to have a look but couldn’t find it πŸ™„


  18. Against Arsenal it looked to me that we were playing a 4-2-3-1 formation, obviously it didn’t quite work out but i think that formation would suit us well with the right personnel. For this i would use;

    Simpson Williamson Coloccini Enrique
    Barton Tiote
    Ireland Nolan Ben Arfa

    If we have the three behind Best all supporting him and all making different runs i think it could work well. Just a thought πŸ˜†


  19. If Enrique decides he wants to leave, then how much can NUFC realistically expect to receive?

    I reckon no more than Β£6m due to him being available on a free within 12 months. If however we tie him up on a 5 year deal NUFC could expect Β£12m minimum.



  20. Tony – If he were on a 5 year deal i would say closer to 20 minimum, might sound a bit but left backs as good as him are hard to come by. Like you say though he only has a year left so if we got between 6-8m it would be decent. If he were to leave I’d got for Van Aanholt.


  21. See Fatty and Owl Heed seem to be learning from their mistakes by inserting a 25% sell-on clause in Judas’ contract.

    I’m no maths genius but I reckon that we means we can expect to get as much as Β£2.5m when they sell him at the end of next season after he totally flops at Anfield. πŸ˜†


  22. Dan4toon: your line-up there illustrates why I’m baffled about the signing of Ireland. Apart from the idea of a short-term loan for a player with a long-term injury of course. πŸ™„

    Your suggested team (please excuse the dig at it – just using it to make a point) has no width. You have Barton, Ireland, Nolan and Benny all fighting the same 10-by-10 yard patch of turf, while we’re totally exposed down the wings.

    Apart from goalies, our best-stocked position has to be central, attacking midfield. Meanwhile, we have 2 fit strikers (including one who’s never scored), no LB cover, no RW specialists at all.

    Dreadful, dreadful squad management. Such a shame after the last two windows, which were so successful.


  23. Oh, and if you take Jonas out, that’s both our goals against Brum gone. I think he’s a vital cog, personally.


  24. Jonas has come out and said he’s happy to stay. I’m sorry i know he probably got asked the question but it just annoys me he had played pretty bad of the few weeks/months and has one good game and now he’s coming out and saying I’m happy to stay!


  25. This is looking very much like a very clever, co-ordinated campaign by the players. Talk up the good side, but always get a dig in that makes it clear to the management about showing their intent in the summer. The Jonas quotes sum it up: very happy, but all about the squad and strength. Just like Jose – if the signs aren’t good, he’s gone.
    And if I was a player, I’d be the same.
    Jose is clearly very pissed off indeed, and I’d be surprised if he’s not been had up for it. The quotes about broken promises are very revealing – but it’s very unprofessional of him to come out with that kind of thing.


  26. I agree that Ireland could be a very, very good player for us. I think he is one of those players like Barton that could just suit and embrace the toon way of life. Our midfield is frighteningly strong actually if we can get everybody fit and involved. Look at the talent we have with players like Barton, Nolan, benny, Tiote, Jonas, Ireland. All fantastic midfielders really.


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