'Daddy Dick' Ireland set to play on for City

September 19, 2007

Stephen Ireland looks sure to be in Manchester City's squad for Saturday's trip to Fulham despite posting a bizarre message on the internet questioning his desire to play football.

City officials are paying little attention to a statement by Ireland on the Bebo social networking website under the name 'Daddy Dick', in which he claimed 'football is s***' and asked 'why did I get stuck doin(g) it'.

Coming so soon after he was branded 'stupid' by his manager Sven-Goran Eriksson over erroneous claims that first one, then the other of his grandmothers had died, as he attempted to remove himself from Republic of Ireland duty last week when, in fact, his girlfriend has suffered a miscarriage, the latest statement has raised more concerns about Ireland.

It has been reported Ireland has been advised to seek psychological advice by Eriksson. But senior figures within the Blues hierarchy have stressed this is not the same type of counselling Joey Barton was forced to undergo during his time with the Eastlands outfit.

Indeed, Ireland has been at City's Carrington training complex all week and, after sitting out Sunday's win over Aston Villa, is expected to earn a recall to Eriksson's squad at Craven Cottage.