'Bang! Flattened him' - Former Man City midfielder reveals shocking details of dressing room bust-up
Former Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland has disclosed the details of a shocking dressing room bust-up between two team-mates during his time at the club, in an interview with Daniel Taylor at The Athletic.
Ireland was speaking about the toughness needed for an academy graduate to integrate into the first-team set-up at City. The midfielder made his professional debut aged 18 in 2005.
Alongside violent challenges on the training pitch and pranks in the changing room, such as burning Nedum Onuoha's bag full of books and notes for his A-Level exams, Ireland revealed the time former City fan-favourite Nicolas Anelka clashed with left-back Stephen Jordan.
'I remember Nicolas Anelka and Stephen Jordan one time. Stephen had done a tackle on him. We were back in the changing room ... a fist from Anelka. Bang! Flattened him', Ireland told The Athletic.
The incident must have taken place some time between 2002 and 2005, when Anelka and Jordan were both at the club. Ireland's account provides an eye-opening insight into the culture of a first-team squad at a professional football club.
The fact the incident never made the press at the time also suggests that such confrontations were more commonplace than is commonly assumed.
It is hard to imagine such an incident happening in Pep Guardiola's seemingly harmonious squad today, but in such a competitive environment, there may well be occasional outbursts such as the one that Ireland disclosed.
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