Former Stoke City midfielder Stephen Ireland has lifted the lid on how is departure from the club came about under Paul Lambert’s stewardship, report The Athletic.
Ireland spent five years with the Potters but was cut loose last summer after his contract expired, despite being told that he would be kept on for the Championship campaign.
And to make matters worse, he says he was told the news via email.
“It was bizarre,” he said.
“It’s tough because I loved the club when I was there.
“I’d given a lot and been through a lot there with my leg break. I felt like I was more than just a player there.”
During his time at the Bet365 Stadium, Ireland racked-up 70 appearances, scoring six goals and assisting nine more, spending a season out on loan to Aston Villa too.
Following his exit, he was snapped-up by Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer but injury troubles reared their head again and Ireland left the club after just two months.
Stoke have struggled badly since returning to the second-tier, finishing in the bottom half last season and currently languishing in the relegation zone with six matches played of the current campaign.
This really doesn’t reflect too well on the club at all and it is hard not to feel sorry for Ireland.
It does make you wonder if maybe the problems facing the club go much deeper than what happens on a matchday. Jones could almost certainly be doing more but if the set-up above him is dysfunctional, no manager will be able to bring success.
It should hopefully give some of the more vocal critics of Jones a bit more food for thought as well.