Ireland, Bent, Scholes and the week that really wasn't

So, not much happened this week. The players came back for pre-season, no new keeper, although Shay Given is starting to look like the one and Stephen Ireland get the number seven shirt, while Darren Bent got the number nine.

Is there anything else? The manager was impressed with the 'hunger' of the players and Stan Petrov had lots of positive things to say about the manager, after one training session. Honestly, was there anything else?

I'm sure there must have been, but nothing is jumping out at me, so there is nothing for me to mention in terms of news. There are a couple of things to mention though - mostly about Stephen Ireland.

Words never go away

Stephen Ireland
Birmingham is a rubbish town as it is, but on top of that I wasn't playing, so I wasn't going to make that effort.

That quote was from March this year and maybe I shouldn't have brought it up, but he said it and while I can understand his frustration at the time, you have to pick your words carefully. My point is, he isn't like a new signing and he has to work bloody hard now to prove he wants to be at this club.

Yes, he can be very good, but now is the time. If, just for one moment, he looks like he isn't putting in the effort, he will be in the firing line. He made it harder for himself at this club after saying that, but like all football players - one good season and it will be forgotten and he is capable of making this season a good one.

Darren Bent competition

So, there is a competition on Twitter from Darren Bent to win a pair of his football boots. I don't know what size he is, but I know how you can win a pair. Click here for details and if you are not yet on Twitter, don't forget to follow us here.

Who is Paul Scholes talking about?

Scholes doesn't talk much and when he does, because of this, more people listen. He also comes acros as quite smart and in the paper today, he has mentioned Aston Villa and he is talking about someone. Do you think it a coincidence that he is talking about this now though?

Paul Scholes
You still hate losing whether it is United or England. Maybe that is half the problem then, if players are going into that squad and not caring about it. I think there ­definitely is an ­element of that – what Jamie said about not being bothered about ­England losing. I always felt players at clubs like your Aston Villa try to use England as a way to get to a top club.

Which, I don’t know, you feel, ‘Are they there for the right reason?’ I think they are very selfish people. It happened in my day. I think they are all there to get their bit of glory, their bit of headlines to think ‘Oh, I will get a move from this’. That is the biggest problem with English players – most of them are just too selfish.

So, that is about it from me today. I'm going out in the garden to put in some decking. Never done it before, the way I'm doing it today and it is nearly 40 meters squared, so there is every chance it will take me all day. Wish me luck.