Jack Grealish is ‘boring’ Man City’s £ 100million symbol, but Pep Guardiola won’t mind
The New Year is a time when we list our greatest hopes and ambitions for the next 365 days, however plausible they may be.
While it’s totally okay that your resolutions exist almost completely out of reality, it’s really weird to see the same happen with the public perception of Jack Grealish.
“I understand Man City are a possession based team and they don’t want to lose the ball but it looks like they lost that bit of [being] ready to play, âAlan Shearer told Amazon Prime after Grealish finished 90 minutes in Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Brentford.
“It was all safe and simple and it sometimes seemed like he was a little afraid of losing the ball.”
While there is an element of fair comment in what the ex-England captain was going with, ex-Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has stepped into the deep end.
Retweeting a Daily Star article on Grealish titled ‘Jack Lemon’, Keys suggested that Aston Villa might want to try to buy out Grealish for a ‘rascal’ Â£ 50million – half of what City agreed to pay in. a record British transfer of Â£ 100million in August.
âIt didn’t improve,â Keys said. “He didn’t make City better and neither will he. Bad man. Bad club. It would take everyone out of a hole.
Love at first sight
First, it’s probably worth considering the opinion of an eight-point lead and 10-game winning run from the “hole” in question, before bringing up the thoughts of the chief miner. of the project, Pep Guardiola.
“It was the first time I saw him play,” Guardiola said over the summer when asked when he decided to sign Grealish.
âEspecially when I saw him on TV I said this guy controls the tempo. I like when he has the ball he stops before the dribble and the opponent stops too.
âIt controls the tempo when it accelerates and decelerates. Especially when I saw him when we played at Aston Villa – the physicality, the mentality.
“Txiki [Begiristain, City’s director of football] was completely in love with him, which is why we decided to give it a try. ”
All of the facets Guardiola pointed out nearly five months ago were evident as City scored three points at Brentford and were fundamental to getting the game plan to fruition.
“Some games we’re playing with a pace that we have to win and today we needed that kind of pace to play,” the City boss said in his post-game Zoom press conference on Wednesday night.
âIf you attack quickly, they will attack faster. They used to do it with [Ivan] Toney and the rest of them end well. Every time they put the ball in the box they are so good.
It’s safe to say, given that assessment, that if Grealish had embarked on an assortment of Harlem Globetrotters antics, he would have been taken away before the final whistle.
Instead, he made 62 touches – his second record in a City Premier League game following the 5-0 win over Arsenal in August when the Gunners essentially appeared to give up – and completed 94.2% of his passes. This is Grealish’s best achievement in 90 minutes except for the 7-0 exhibition limit win over Leeds United earlier this month.
According to FBref, only Kevin De Bruyne (four) produced more than Grealish’s three stroke-creating actions at Brentford, while the famous dribbler only improved his 54 runs in sky blue in the aforementioned Arsenal beat (65 ).
Grealish also enjoys a superior physical presence than most of City’s other forwards, something he used to accomplish to achieve what Guardiola literally needed.
Not that this is likely to win over too many naysayers, wherever they land on the Shearer-Keys spectrum.
This is mainly because there are two fancy elements that blend together to produce a particularly heady brew. Let’s call it Jack Lemonade.
During England’s dizzying run to the Euro 2020 final, Grealish has become the symbol of all the nation’s hopes and dreams.
He was playing off the cuff, he had a hairstyle, his socks were down. He was the antidote to all that wickedness in the Super League leading up to the days when football almost came home.
The masses at Wembley have relentlessly called on Gareth Southgate to get their hero off the bench. He played very well when he opened the last group game against the Czech Republic and produced a magnificent appearance to trigger a wacky 2-0 victory over Germany.
Grealish’s importance in the race for the final practically ended there, but a very good footballer had become something of an incredible Zinedine Zidane / Ronaldinho hybrid in the popular imagination.
Now he’s playing under the instructions of one of the big teams and it’s not going particularly well.
This brings us from the excitable illusion to Jack Lemonade’s second ingredient – the idea that City is boring.
Yes, when a team is as dominant as Guardiola’s are at their best, it removes an element of danger that is essential for sports entertainment. But it really is palpable nonsense.
I mean, have you seen them player?
It’s a team that produces goals of all kinds from any position, where players pop up everywhere to outsmart opponents, where football ingenuity is matched only by buckets of high sweat. pressure.
Season 1 Syndrome
The integration as a new part in the wonderful flying machines of Guardiola is not easy.
Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane both reached dizzying heights after an adaptation season at Guardiola, while even Robert Lewandowski didn’t really touch the ground in his debut campaign at Bayern Munich.
Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Rodri are City’s three most notable artists so far this quarter. Each has taken at least a season to acclimatize to Guardiola and Bernardo has come out of a prolonged slump to become arguably Europe’s best midfielder.
Consider this body of evidence and it’s clear that any notion of a crisis surrounding Grealish’s form and future prospects is ludicrous.
He’s yet to really reach the top for City, although his goal returns have never been particularly impressive at Villa. There is definitely room for improvement and he has shown a willingness to get the job done, with the notable exception of that recovery session the day after his win over Leeds.
Maybe it comes with price territory, but Grealish is held to both a higher standard than his current teammates and a fantastic version of himself cooked up on long summer nights.
Here, in the dead of dark winter in a “boring and boring town”, he is doing very well.
What did you think of Grealish’s first half-season at City? Follow the City Is our editor Dom Farrell on Twitter to participate in the discussion and give us your feedback in the comments section below.