The FA Cup semi final win against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium was a breakthrough moment for Given  and Villa. Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images

In the car from the train station, it starts. Unintentionally, it’s a bit heavy. How was Saturday, then? It is a standard question to put to a footbal(...)

West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis faces his old club Stoke City on the back of last weekend’s FA Cup defeat to Aston Villa. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

SATURDAY (3.0 unless stated)Arsenal (3) v West Ham (10) - Live on SetantaArsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces up to a month out with a hamstring in(...)

Stoke City’s Stephen Ireland lies on the ground  after the tackle from Hull City’s Maynor Figueroa, which left him needing 12-15 stitches. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Steve Bruce has hit back at Stoke City after a gory picture emerged of a bloody gash in Stephen Ireland’s leg following a challenge by Maynor Figueroa(...)

Stoke City’s Peter Crouch celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match at St James’ Park, Newcastle. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Newcastle United 1 Stoke City 1John Carver and Mark Hughes obtained their pro licence coaching qualifications after studying alongside each other on t(...)

Jonathan Walters bagged a hat-trick as Stoke City saw off QPR 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Stoke City 3 QPR 1 QPR remain without an away point this season and second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League after Jonathan Walters’ hat-tr(...)

Stoke City’s Stephen Ireland celebrates scoring against Wrexham in the   FA Cup, third round match at the Britannia Stadium. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

Stoke City 3 Wrexham 1Stephen Ireland ensured there will be no non-league representatives in the fourth-round draw of the FA Cup after Stoke City were(...)

Robbie Keane: The Liverpool experience could have been scarring but Keane just shook it off. Photograph: Donall Farmer

If Stephen Ireland exhibits supreme indifference to the idea of playing football for his country, then with each passing year it seems that Robbie Kea(...)

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill: “If  he wants to call me, fine. If he phones me some time in July, of course I’ll pick up the phone and I’ll speak. But I’m not chasing it anymore.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Stephen Ireland appears to have driven another nail into the coffin containing his once promising international career.The Stoke City midfielder, who (...)

 Stephen Ireland after he scored the only goal against Wales   at Croke Park in March 2007.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

The prospect of Stephen Ireland ever returning to the Ireland squad looks more remote than ever after the Stoke City midfielder had his agent ring the(...)

Stephen Ireland in action for Stoke City against Manchester City’s Aleksandr Kolarov. Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill hopes to meet with the midfielder next week to find out if he wants to return to the international fold. Photograph:  Getty Images.

  The six-and-a-half-year saga of Stephen Ireland’s international exile could finally be resolved next week when Republic of Ireland manag(...)