Date: 22nd August 2010 at 8:54am
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You couldn’t make it up. Hatstand Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland is appearing all over the ‘Street of Shame’ in scattergun anti-City offloads and more…

The former MCFC Academy graduate is increasingly giving the impression that he is setting himself up for a big fall should he continue his crusade against the club who developed him as a player.

Following his bitter City and self obsessed first Villa press conference where the former Republic of Ireland International, reknowned for bringing hacks into his mansion to show off his purchases slated City Youth players for their spending, it’s money that’s once again in the potty Irishman’s mind.

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First off, there’s a sizeably fawning interview in The Irish Independent and then other financial assertions appearing in the likes of The Daily Star…

‘I’ve seen things written which are not the truth. People can say what they want…money is in football. It’s not about what I’m worth or what I’m paid. It’s not my fault if I’m given a certain amount. It’s the same when you hear about Yaya Toure getting paid £220,000 a week at City. It’s not his fault either. You’re not going to say, ‘no thanks.’

So Toure, who has to date put more effort into his City shirt in two City appearances than Ireland did all last season is on 220 grand a week, then. But there’s more…

‘I never earned good money there. I was on decent money for one year only – whereas the likes of Micah Richards and Michael Johnson were on that years before me.’

So that’s a couple of lads he’s grown up with at City dissed for good measure as well. But Stevie, these lads haven’t invited The Sun round for a look at the fish tank and all the rest of it.

Next stop, The News Of The World with a bit of background first. Shay Given, City’s 34 year old veteran ‘keeper suffered a serious shoulder injury at the end of last season, and after intensive rehabilitation with the City medical team is back in full training.

However, fully fit through the summer and in rich form, England’s Joe Hart has been chosen by Roberto Mancini to take the gloves in the opening two games of the season. A sensible enough decision you’d think, but up pops Ireland again with some career advice for Given:

‘I would like to see Shay go. He needs to be playing every week. He is far too good to be left sitting on the bench. He is a brilliant person and the best goalkeeper I have ever played with. He deserves first team football.’

So one in the eye for Big Joe there, but the Given camp might not be ready to pull the trigger just yet Stevie, as you leap aboard the ‘Given has been mistreated bandwagon.’ – Given has been in Germany this week having the shoulder injury re-assessed.

And just for good measure, when quizzed over the remote possibility of him ever playing for Giovanni Trappatoni’s Republic again, he still had to get one in at Roberto Mancini:

‘I haven’t really been getting on well with Italians recently.’

You wonder where the erstwhile self titled fittest and finest trainer at Manchester City is finding the time to prepare for his Aston Villa debut.

Ireland is talking himself into a corner and if he doesn’t hit the ground running for The Villans in the difficult trip to face Newcastle and the bizarrely moustachioed Errol Barton, he’ll be heading for cementing his place in the top flight as a laughing stock.


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