Stephen Ireland, one of the best attacking midfielders currently in the Premier League is no doubt adored by the Manchester City faithful, but it seems as though Mancini is not as impressed.
Ireland is constantly featured on the Man City bench and with the money driven club likely to bring in new star players this summer, you just wonder … could he be made available?
Nobody would have thought Richard Dunne would sign for Villa 2 years ago, that he would stay with Man City through this season, but then Man City signed there ‘stars’ and Dunne became available.
Then I looked at how many minutes Ireland played in the Premiership in recent seasons with Man City compared to this year:
Season 06/07 = 1,338 minutes
Season 07/08 = 2,547 minutes
Season 08/09 = 3,030 minutes
Season 09/10 = 1,453 minutes (with just 4 games remaining)
Stephen Ireland could end up playing half the Premiership time he did in the previous campaign. The likes of Barry, De Jong, Kompany, Bellamy, Johnson and Viera and co seem to be ahead of Ireland in the order for a starting 11 position.
It just makes you think, now with Man City buying who knows this summer? (Maybe Gerrard if they get 4th? Who knows?) Will Stephen Ireland look to move on, despite his love for City like our own Richard Dunne did last summer?
I think the majority of Villa fans agree that our best formation is a 4-5-1 by a long way!
Despite the fact we can play a few different formations, there is something about the 4-5-1/4-3-3 system that suits us. What does everyone think of this possible midfield?
Petrov(c) —— Young —— Downing —— Ireland —— Milner ——
Stephen Ireland could surely be taken this summer for around £15M. He is a Martin O’Neill type player too, young and British with lots of ability. Ireland at Villa would give us that extra bit of quality in the middle, but also allow us to rotate with higher quality players; something we need to go that one step further.