Aston Villa’s Stephen Ireland, out on loan at Newcastle, has not taken long to attract more negative attention from the press after a photo of himself and team-mate Leon Best was leaked of the pair with their tops off at a nightclub on the Friday before the Toon’s 4-0 defeat to Stoke. Although the two players were both ruled out of the game, the club have urged them to release an apology to their fans for the ‘inappropriate behaviour’ which they showed on the eve of their sides crucial game away to the Potters. Ireland constantly frustrated fans and management alike at City with his frequent ridiculous outbursts in the media but it is his actions rather than words which have let him down this time around. Upon joining Villa the midfielder showed little signs of mellowing and fell out with manager Gerard Houllier before leaving for Newcastle on loan. The 24-year-old is yet to play for his temporary club through injury and won’t have endeared himself to boss Alan Pardew with his latest misdemeanours.
“Although we had both been ruled out of the game at Stoke and didn’t travel with the team, we realise that going out to a bar was inappropriate ahead of Saturday’s game and we fully regret doing so.
“We were asked to have our photograph taken and we removed our shirts as a tongue-in-cheek joke between friends, but of course the resulting coverage in the press suggests a far different night out.
“Whilst our actions were wrong, neither of us had consumed alcohol and we were out for only a very short period of time.
“However, with the team having an important game at Stoke the following day, we should never have put ourselves or the club in that position.”
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