I've written before about how good an interview Stephen Ireland is, always providing a great insight into situations with an honesty rarely offered by footballers.
There are a couple of features today in The Telegraph and The Guardian in which Ireland discusses - on the eve of Ireland's World Cup play-off with France - his continued absence from the international scene, and despite reports that have hinted at a return he firmly closes the door on a potential return:
But while admitting he will watch Giovanni Trapattoni's team tackle the French when he returns to Manchester, Ireland has emphatically ruled out the possibility of an about-turn on his international retirement and insisted that the hate mail does not concern him.
"I've left my country now, and obviously left under the wrong terms, but it's happened and, since then my life has gone really nicely. Even if they get to the World Cup, there's not a part of me that will think, 'That could have been me, I could have been there'."