Stephen Ireland attacks Houllier



Aston Villa player Stephen Ireland has attacked boss Gerard Houllier, in a scathing interview with French football magazine, So Foot.

The Irishman is currently on loan at Newcastle United, but hasn’t made an appearance yet due to injury.

Ireland moved from Manchester City to Villa in the summer but was barely played by the French manager, and moved to Newcastle in the January window.

“After 15 matches on the bench Houllier told me to stay at home,” said Ireland.

“I trained during the week and on Fridays he told me, ‘no point you coming, you are not in the team’.

“Yet I was the best player in training. It was my team that won in every session. One of the few times he played me, we drew 0-0 at Chelsea and I ended up man of the match.

“Apparently that didn’t matter to him. I was stuck with being paid for doing nothing at all. I was left to myself. I had to pay out of my own pocket for medical treatment. Can you believe that?”

Ireland also blasted the former Lyon boss for asking him to move to Birmingham from his home in Manchester.

“Houllier asked me to come and live in Birmingham because it was taking me 75 minutes to come to training. But there were 15 players in the same position as me. Some came from London and took more than two hours, but he only asked me to move,” he continued.

“For a start, Birmingham is a c**p city and I wasn’t going to make the effort, especially as I wasn’t playing. Might as well be in Manchester if I had to stay home on match days.

“I don’t bear Houllier any grudges, it wasn’t him who chose me after all.”

Ireland is hoping to make his debut this weekend for Newcastle, after recovering from his injury, but picked up a knock to his hip in training. “I just want to play and have a manager who really wants me for once.

“I have no idea at the moment who I will be playing for next season. My future is unclear.”

Ireland retired from international football last year, following a run in with the manager, where he claimed his grandmother had died, even though she hadn’t. Ireland doesn’t regret his decisions though.

“I don’t give a damn for Ireland. Live in Cork? I’d rather shoot myself. I prefer Los Angeles,” he said.

Ireland also admitted he had no plans to ever play for his country again.

“Even at youth level, it p****d me off to go there,” he said.

“Everyone came from Dublin. I was the only guy from Cork. I had to take the train on my own, pay for a taxi, there was no hotel, no grub. It was handled so amateurishly.

“National teams don’t interest me. I have more to do than go off for three days to play Andorra. And when you are Irish, you are well aware you’ll never win the World Cup.

“I feel nothing for the team. I absolutely don’t feel guilty when they lose and, when they win, at no time do I think I could have been there.

“Even if Ireland had qualified for the World Cup, I wouldn’t have gone. People call for my return, but I have only played five times for them. The national team and me are ancient history.”

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