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‘I’m shocked’ – Robbie Savage involved in astonishing Jack Grealish debate with Aston Villa fan


Robbie Savage was involved in an astonishing debate with an Aston Villa fan who labelled Jack Grealish a ‘luxury player we can’t afford at the moment’.

In a football phone-in which left the former Birmingham City player shocked, a Villa fan called Andy called in to complain about the club captain.

In words that have probably never been used before by a Villa supporter to describe Grealish, the fan claimed the midfielder has been ‘exposed in the Premier League’.

Savage was left open-mouthed at points as the fan discussed Grealish, who has been Villa’s best player in recent years.

The 24-year-old, who helped his boyhood club to promotion last season with a string of superb performances, also set up Wesley’s goal in Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal, which Savage was quick to point out.

Here’s the full back-and-forth transcript of what was said on BBC 5 Live Sport:

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Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish (left) and Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka

Fan

(Dean) Smith’s getting it wrong with Grealish as captain. I think he’s exposed in the Premier League. A very good Championship player but he’s just done nothing, he’s a luxury player for us to have.

Savage

He set up the second goal with a great run bursting through the Arsenal defence…

Fan

We haven’t got time to have luxury players. Robbie, you’ve played in struggling teams yourself.

Savage

Are you a Villa fan Andy? (Responds he’s a season ticket holder). So you watch Villa more than me. I watched Grealish in the Championship and he was sensational. The big question was; could he do it in the Premier League?

Fan

He’s not, is he? We can’t afford to carry him at the moment. He’s captain of the club as well and we can’t afford him at the moment Robbie. We’ve got to have industrious players in there. We need to cement our place in the Premier League otherwise we’ll be down.

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Savage

Are you being a bit harsh there, Andy?

Fan

No I don’t think I am to be honest. He’s the weakest of the midfielders we’ve got. He’s a luxury player. He’s a local lad…but I don’t think we can afford to carry him and it’ll be Smith’s downfall.

At the moment, maybe take him out of the team for a few games. I just don’t think while we’re playing the way we’re playing with four points we can’t afford to carry him.

Savage

Let me get this straight…you think as an Aston Villa fan, a season ticket holder, you can’t afford to ‘carry’ your captain?

 

Fan

He’s too much of a luxury player. In a struggling team like we are at the moment, the points on the board suggest that…we need someone in there that will put it about a bit. He goes missing too often. Be a player like you were for them lot over the city.

Savage

I’m a fan of Grealish, I really am. I’ve seen his desire, his work ethic, he loves Aston Villa as we all know. When he scored that goal against Birmingham in the derby after getting punched by a fan he showed great character and leadership. His heart is in the club and every time I’ve seen him play for Villa – and I’m no Villa fan because of my Birmingham roots – I’m thinking ‘wow, he gives everything for that football club.’ But obviously I might be wrong Andy?

Fan

There are fans in the Lower Holte who have got passion, you’re not going to put them in central midfield and give them the captaincy. He does have desire, sure, he doesn’t put his foot in though. When’s the last time he made a tackle?

Savage

Andy, I’m shocked.





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