- Jack Grealish should expect criticism because there are so many expectations from him
- I have the right to express an opinion but the modern player does not take criticism
- Grealish might not think it’s worth listening to, but I’ve been in his place
I seem to have offended Jack Grealish by saying that I think he is a good player but not a great one I have seen in his first year or so at a major Premier League club.
I think Grealish has an ability that very few people have. He is a technically excellent player who runs with the ball and gets you to the edge of your seat.
I also have to say that if I met her I’m sure I’d like her and would like to spend a night with her, although I’m not sure I can keep up!
Manchester City star Jack Grealish is hurt by Graeme Souness’s comments in the media
But football isn’t just about dribbling past one player, dribbling to another player and then shooing the ball away when you try to pick up a third.
It’s about looking at the picture – picture perfect – on the pitch. It’s about giving the right pass. immediately. move the ball forward. immediately. Doing this tirelessly, week after week.
And then, on top of that, tough yards without the ball, which Manchester City does better than anyone at the moment. That’s what all great players do.
I have been in this game for over 50 years and I feel that I am entitled to express an opinion on these matters but the modern player does not take criticism well.
Souness feels he deserves an opinion after being involved in football for 50 years
Criticism is now set aside – the coach and manager are getting on with their strategy, their team selection, their replacements and anything else you want to mention, while the players are free most of the time. Rarely do fingers point at them.
Grealish, like me, moved to a bigger side for a record transfer fee between two English clubs, so I think I know something about that experience. When new players arrived at Liverpool, they found Ronnie Moran to be the only black-and-white football man I’ve ever encountered in a game, delivering a message that was brutally blunt.
‘We told you once. We’ve told you twice. We’re not telling you again. If the money doesn’t fall now, son, you’re not a Liverpool player and you won’t be here very long.’
There was no molly-codling. The equation was very simple: either you had the mindset to play for a big club or you were down the road.
Souness admits England international may think his opinion is not worth listening to
For me, it was about me adjusting to those Liverpool players who thought quick and played the ball quickly. If you are doing this consistently then your touch and control of the ball will be better.
That’s how I improved every day. No one sat me down to talk me through it. There was no watershed moment with Bob Paisley, Jock Stein, Joe Fagan or Moran and, although I can’t remember ever speaking in a negative vein, it would have been like a piece of dandruff to me.
Grealish has to pick and choose who he listens to. He may think that my opinion is not worth listening to. I can definitely live with it. The only thing that matters is his manager.
He has said in response to my comments that Pep Guardiola is asking him to keep the ball and not to move it too quickly. OK, excuse me for being blunt, but I would argue that you are in a football game to score goals.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has told Grealish to keep the ball and not move it too quickly
It’s never a good idea to have too many touches outside the box and show how cute you are outside the box. It’s not about showing how clever you are in wide areas or being a pirate in the middle of the park.
It’s about getting the ball in front of the people, quickly and accurately because they are the ones who need the time.
There are very obvious ups and downs that come with a big move in football. A lifestyle beyond your wildest dreams. The glamor you never imagined playing for a big club.
The downsides, if you want to call them that, are the pressure and scrutiny and the need to be bang on – all the time.
If you are a proper player these are not drawbacks at all because you know the deal and what people say will not affect you. But if you transfer for such a huge fee, there is an expectation. As for Grealish, I’d say: ‘Stay with it. deal with it.’
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