Man City’s Jake Grealish hit back at Graeme Souness criticism


r1065041 1296x729 16 9 Man City's Jake Grealish hit back at Graeme Souness criticism

Jack Grealish has dismissed repeated criticism of his playing style from Graeme Souness by revealing Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urged him to show “balls” in line with a different approach.

The 27-year-old moved to City from Aston Villa in a £100m transfer last summer, and despite Guardiola’s side winning their fourth Premier League title in five years, Grealish started just 22 games and scored three goals at times.

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Former Liverpool midfielder-turned-pundit Souness said this week Grealish was “a good footballer, not a great player” and added that he was often fouled at Aston Villa because he “didn’t look at the film quickly enough”.

It was the latest in Souness’s wading assessments of Grealish, who opted for a press conference at St George’s Park following his call-up to England’s latest squad for UEFA Nations League matches against Italy and Germany.

“I don’t know what his problem is with me,” Grealish said. “He always says things about me but I try not to read too much into it. You know when he’s on Sky Sports it’s around the training ground sometimes.

“Listen, he’s obviously a great player and won a lot, but I know he’s got a lot of things … I don’t know what he’s saying about me or what’s wrong with him. I know mine is. Ability.

“I already knew about not moving the ball fast, but when I play for a manager like Pep Guardiola, he tells me to keep the ball as much as I can and to take balls. Everywhere, that’s what I try to do.

“Obviously I’m always going to have people, if I don’t play well… listen, I know in myself, I always look back on my games and see things like that, and I’m very critical of myself.

“I know there were games, especially in the second half of last season, where I didn’t perform well.”

– Guardiola tells City’s Grealish to ignore critics

Grealish started City’s opening game at West Ham, but an ankle problem forced him into a second-half substitute role against Bournemouth, after which he was sidelined for three weeks.

“Unfortunately for me, I came back the previous season, I had a strong pre-season and then got injured in the second game.

“But from now on, because I know I’m not 100% yet, I’ll put my head down and try to get that fitness back. I think I’ve only played one 90 minutes this season. But yeah, I think I’ll always have people behind me, but I’ll try.” To do, to go and act.”

Grealish, Britain’s most expensive footballer, came under further scrutiny in the summer after being pictured on holiday in Ibiza and Las Vegas.

“I look like a normal kid,” he said. “I feel like I’ve done what a lot of footballers do, but sometimes I’m more focused when I’m on holiday in Ibiza or Vegas or something.

“After that I was taking photos [on social media] I am working. Not many people seem to have talked about this. I tried to come back as much as possible and I felt like I did. I’ve seen the manager say that about me a few times.

“I know what I’m like, how professional I really am, and hopefully I can get my performances back to where I was when I was playing at my best.

“I had to learn to deal with it. If my mom or my dad or somebody said that, I would listen more.

“But yeah, sometimes when people say it on Twitter or Instagram as trolls or things like that, it doesn’t bother me. It’s part and parcel of us playing for the national team and playing big. Clubs in England. I don’t think it’s just me, some I think there are.

“When I signed for Man City and the price that came with it, I knew it wouldn’t be a laughing matter if I started the way Erling Holland did. That’s the only way I didn’t get caned.”


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