Ireland still Superman
- Fri 16 Nov 2012, 10:58AM
- Posted by David Clayton
As ever, the visit of Aston Villa means a few crowd favourites returning to face the Blues.
Richard Dunne and Shay Given will be warmly welcomed – if they play – as will Superman himself, Stephen Ireland.
Ireland, who has shown flashes of his old self in recent months, is quoted on Sky Sports today about his departure from City and, as he has in the past, he is complimentary about his old club and, Roberto Mancini in particular.
Sky report Ireland saying: "’If I had stayed there, I wouldn't have been involved anyway. They have so much quality there was no way I was getting in that team.’
“The midfielder, who came through the youth ranks at City, added: ‘I live in the same area as him (Mancini). I bump into him occasionally and we have a chat. It's completely fine. I understand it was a football decision. It was the right time for me to leave.
"’He has to be (the right man for City). He has won them the league and they are still unbeaten in the Premier League so it's not like he has done really bad. I think Mancini has done a great job, and I can't see that changing.’"
Staying with tomorrow’s game, Villa keeper Brad Guzan believes his team can leave the Etihad with a second victory inside two months.
The Birmingham Mail report: “Guzan is convinced the claret and blues have the quality to match the Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium despite the discrepancy in price tags.
““They have some of the best in the Premier League in terms of attacking players and have spent some money,’ he said.
“’But, saying that, we’ve got the ability and the talent in our dressing room to deal with any strikers that line up against us. If you look at the Manchester United game, they’ve got world-class attacking players but for most of the game we handled ourselves pretty well.
“’Obviously it wasn’t the result we wanted and they had a few chances. Also, if you were to say ‘player x is worth this amount of money and another player is worth another amount’ I don’t think you could say there is much difference.
“’I think that is testament to what the manager is doing at the club – bringing in talented, high-quality players to get ourselves up.’”