Stephen Ireland rapped by Aston Villa over controversial Twitter picture

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland was today rapped by boss Alex McLeish after pictures of him smoking a Shisha pipe and drinking appeared on the internet.

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland was today rapped by boss Alex McLeish after pictures of him smoking a Shisha pipe and drinking appeared on the internet.

They were posted by Ireland’s girlfriend Jessica Lawlor on micro-blogging site Twitter shortly after Villa lost 2-1 to Arsenal and appeared in a national newspaper yesterday.

McLeish was reluctant to criticise the 25-year-old publicly but, privately, was thought to be seething with Ireland and has warned him of his future conduct.

The Villa boss said: “It is not something I want to be discussing. Was it a shisha pipe or something? I don’t know what is in that stuff. For all I know he could have been blowing bubbles in it or something.

“It is not my world the way the players live nowadays, with the tweeting and posting pictures of themselves and stuff.

“Any opinion I have on that will be delivered to Stephen rather than discussing it in the public domain.

"I don’t think you want to be bringing that kind of attention to yourself.”

Ireland has made no impact at Villa since his £8million move from Manchester City in August 2010 and struggled to justify his £80,000-a-week salary.

But McLeish remains optimistic that the player can reproduce his City form, having seen glimpses during sessions at Bodymoor Heath.

He said: "When I saw Stephen in training this morning his attitude was great. He was terrific but we know that he has not really done himself total justice in a Villa shirt.

“There is still a chance for him. He has been training well and played really well in the first-half of the Arsenal game and he’s got to take that kind of attitude into other games.

“But Ciaran Clark has come in and said to me ‘you will find it hard to leave me out now.’ He has come in and done exceptionally well so he stays in the team.

"But there will be opportunities over the next two or three games for Stephen.”

Comments for: "Stephen Ireland rapped by Aston Villa over controversial Twitter picture"

Happy_baggie

The prem is littered with very average players on 80k a week doing nothing for their teams - I just hope and pray Albion never end up in that situation - thank God for JP.