Sunday 15 March 2009

There was a very interesting interview in the Mail this weekend regarding Stephen Ireland. Ian Ladyman exclusively grilled 'Superman' about all the controversies that have occurred during his career, and this extract was particularly intriguing...

"May 11, 2008, on the A1 between Middlesbrough and Manchester. He is in his girlfriend’s car. 'It was the last day of the season and we had lost 8-1 at Boro,’ he remembers. 'I didn’t get the team bus. I got Jessica to drive me home and I thought to myself: "This can’t carry on. My career and my reputation are not right."

'After that game we didn’t even get a b******ing. I was so depressed at seeing that people didn’t really care. People were laughing. It was the worst moment of all for me.

'I decided that wasn’t a route I was going down. I didn’t want to live my life travelling home from big defeats with a smile on my face."

This is a very interesting insight into just how desperate the team became during the Sven days. I have speculated before in a couple of articles that the team had deliberately allegedly sabotaging games. The 8-1 at Middlesboro was an example of this. It was a blatant protest from the players at the imminent departure of Sven. The 'laughing' that Ireland refers to was the players laughing at Thaksin, mocking the fact that they had showed a big example of what 'player power' can do. So...the Ladyman interview certainly did make for a very compelling read over my cornflakes.

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