The 28-year-old impressed Potters fans yesterday afternoon.
They say behind every successful man lies a good woman. In football (though that first saying may also be true), every match-winner is usually aided by an unsung hero.
Yes, Jonathan Walters will steal the headlines as the hat-trick hero at the Britannia Stadium and, for that, the Stoke man deserves no end of praise.
Out of the Potters’ starting XI for much of the current campaign, Ireland has found game time hard to come by at Stoke this term. Taking his chances to impress Mark Hughes, then, is absolutely vital for the 28-year-old.
Well, he certainly did against QPR yesterday, shining in the final third for Stoke and showing creativity in abundance.
So, while Walters will take home the fame, Ireland provided the game as the Potters’ unsung hero.
Stoke’s fine run of form continues, while QPR’s abysmal away record only worsens. Here’s a selection of some of the best Twitter reaction to Ireland’s display against the R’s…
SCFC_WWE) January 31, 2015
Stephen Ireland, Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters were the three best players on the pitch today. #SCFC— Stoke City (@SCFCdelilah) January 31, 2015
@StanCollymore Walters gets the headlines but Stephen Ireland was superb today .. Really provided the creative spark ..— Ghostie75 (@Ghostie75) January 31, 2015
Thought Stephen Ireland was immense today as well!— Beth Dean (@mightystokies) January 31, 2015
Very impressed by Stephen Ireland today too. Linked well with Walters & Moses. Moses caused lots of problems for QPR but his dive was bad!!— Steven Bebe (@StevenBebe) January 31, 2015