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More On Charles N'Zogbia, Stephen Ireland, and Alex McLeish

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Stephen Ireland frolics in the grass in Newcastle.
Stephen Ireland frolics in the grass in Newcastle.

Alex McLeish is either really stupid, or he thinks Aston Villa supporters are really stupid. Although Stephen Ireland clearly told his manager to "fuck off" after getting a lecture for being partially at fault for the first goal against Newcastle, McLeish denies that he ever heard those words coming from the midfielder's mouth. Hearing issue, Non-Sir? Possibly due to the roaring of disgruntled Villa fans ringing in your ears?

Anyway, Ireland supposedly has an ankle injury, which is why he was substituted at halftime. I don't recall seeing him limping, but maybe someone else noticed?

As for N'Zogbia, apparently no one knows yet if he'll be punished for his Twitter outburst. As noted before, the decision to remove the Frenchman in favor of Emile Heskey was a tactical one. I'm not sure which tactics McLeish was using, but yeah, in his mind it was tactical. But considering the manager doles out punishment the way Howard Webb awards penalties to Manchester United, there's no way N'Zogbia won't suffer from this.

Villa's manager might say that he doesn't bench players who are performing well because of something they've said or done, but I think we can all agree that the evidence is against him. If N'Zogbia plays against Manchester City on Sunday, I'll be very surprised.

But what do you guys think? Is it fair? Should players be punished for outbursts against the manager?