Thirty-year old Stephen Ireland’s career seems to be over as he has failed to live up to the hype when he started his career.

The Corkman seemed to be on the path to being a legend but all of that has failed to happen. The veteran has shared the dressing room with numerous players who have gone on to become stars in their own right.

The Ireland international – while wearing his green jersey – was the first person to get an Irish goal at Croke Park, aside other goals in competitive games as a young player. Ireland was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year before he retired from international football at 22 years.

The player is yet to feature this term after his broken leg incident on the training ground last May. Stoke City manager Mark Hughes disclosed that Ireland was already building strength by running at the club’s stadium.

Noel King gave the impression that Ireland could return to the national team, forcing Martin O’Neill to answer questions about the player but all that is history. Though Stephen played for top sides – Man City, Aston Villa and Newcastle – during his career, he also suffered the trappings of being a soccer star.

After City sent him away, it was O’Neill that started the process that eventually led to his arrival at Villa Park but the coach was gone before he arrived. Stiliyan Petrov praised Ireland’s work ethics on the training ground but Gerard Houlier felt his hard work was below par on the pitch and it led to his exit. Under Hughes, he has played just 18 times in three years in the league. He started all of his league games from the bench last term and the injury seems to be the beginning of the end.

Copyright Stephen Ireland 2024
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