Stephen Ireland to New York? A load of old bull says McLeish
Despite albeit speculative rumours to the contrary, Alex McLeish insists that Stephen Ireland will not be moving to the New York Red Bulls anytime soon.
Rumours of Ireland moving to the MLS – which don’t seem so fanciful considering the eccentric nature of the person involved – circulated in recent weeks and were fuelled earlier this week by the agent of ageing German footballer Michael Ballack, a somewhat bizarre source I think you’ll agree.
Talking to Goal.com, Michael Becker said: "Michael would love to play in New York. However, it seems that [New York general manager Erik] Soler already made massive promises to Stephen Ireland in October. This is an unbelievable incident.
“Why would you go for a no-name player who no one knows, who hasn't started in months, when Michael Ballack is available?"
We’re inclined to agree with Becker in this case, not because of Ballack’s pedigree in comparison to Ireland’s, but because the MLS has served a number of veterans very well as a place to see out their careers and top off their bank accounts before they call it a day. We're not talking about Robbie Keane though, of course.
In any case, despite Becker’s revelations, it seems unlikely that Ireland will be shacking up with Thierry Henry and eh, Corey Hertzog, anytime soon, at least not if Big ‘Eck Alex McLeish has anything to do with it.
“I don’t know where all the talk relating to the Red Bulls came from. It is no concern to me,” McLeish is quoted as saying in The Sun.
“But Stephen Ireland is really playing fantastic at the moment, really fantastic football. Watching him in training, he was a delight to watch.
“If he can produce what he showed in the Fulham game and other matches such as the last Arsenal game at Villa Park when he was outstanding, then we have a great player.
Sounds like Big ‘Eck is looking for some consistency from Ireland, a trait he hasn’t exactly been renowned for his in eventful career to date.
And hey, with the added prospect of WAG: The Musical (featuring Stevie's missus) being snapped up by Broadway, don't rule out the prospect of Stevie moving Stateside just yet.