Ireland derides City bling and warns new boy Milner

Stephen Ireland announced his arrival at Aston Villa yesterday with a parting shot at the club with whom he spent nine years and a warning for the midfielder he replaced at Villa Park. "James Milner might think the grass is greener at Manchester City," said Ireland. "He may be in for a shock."

Ireland, an £8m makeweight in Milner's £26m transfer from the Midlands to Eastlands, characterised City under Roberto Mancini and its mega-rich Arab owners as a club where bling was the main silverware on the minds of some players.

"I spoke to Darius Vassell, Richard Dunne and Gareth Barry and they all spoke highly of Villa," Ireland said. "It's a family club and one that will get the best out of me. I am actually shocked at how good it is. I've settled in so well, so fast. Even the young lads are so polite.

"At City they're not like that. They're coming in with £10,000 watches on their wrists and walking around as if they have played 200 Premier League games. I can really see myself having a good time here." Villa, he added pointedly, were "a proper club".

Ireland, who expects to play "some part" in Villa's match at Newcastle on his 24th birthday tomorrow, also had strong words for City manager Mancini, who froze him out of the first-team scene last season and claimed the Irishman needed to improve his attitude.

"I think that was really unfair," he said. "All the players know I was the first in training and the last one out. I've worked the hardest and on the tackles and stuff I was always ahead of everybody. I was one of the best players [in training]. You know when you have your bad games, and you're having a sticky patch, but at least then I put in the hard work.

"It's not as heartbreaking leaving as it might've been," added Ireland. "For me the past year or two, it hasn't been easy to operate."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower