‘The question mark over Jack’ – What they are saying about Aston Villa star man after weekend display
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has gone from strength to strength in recent matches.
Since Villa ’s return to the top flight, Grealish has been an integral part of Dean Smith’s plans, featuring in all nine of the Lions’ Premier League matches and Carabao Cup ties against Crewe and Brighton.
The 24-year-old has netted four goals in all competitions so far this season, including his side’s opening goal at the weekend as they beat Brighton 2-1 in the Premier League .
Grealish’s performance on Saturday saw him earn plenty of praise from across the football world – here is what they had to say about the Villa skipper.
“He [Grealish] was better than alright. Back to back wins for Villa and back to back goals for him. He was absolutely fantastic,” said Shearer after watching the game for BBC’s Match of the Day.
“The manager has been asking him to play a lot closer to the centre-forward Wesley, predominantly from that left-hand side, and it’s suiting his game.
“It’s given him some freedom to go and roam. The weight of his pass was brilliant for the second goal. What a performance from him in front of the England manager.
“He is more consistent [compared to last time in the Premier League] and he is an all-round better player.”
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“I spoke to Jack Grealish recently and he told me he wants to take more risks. Some midfielders like to play it safe, but that is not how you get yourself goals.
“In front of the watching Gareth Southgate on Saturday, Grealish took a risk and scored, helping Aston Villa on their way to what could prove to be a vital 2-1 win over Brighton later in the season. Grealish is showing no fear in his game now.”
“It took a special performance from Jack Grealish to turn this game from defeat to victory – England manager Gareth Southgate watched this match and must have been impressed.
“I said the last time I selected the Villa captain for my team of the week that he was knocking on the international door. Now he’s kicking it down.”
“He put in a captain’s display and was terrific. He was ultimately the difference between the two teams,” Cascarino told talkSPORT’s Weekend Sports Breakfast show.
“Are Villa going to challenge the football elite in this country?,” Cascarino added.
“What they’ve got is a very young side, is very energetic and have someone who is now ready to play Champions League football in Jack Grealish.
“Do Aston Villa want to keep him because if they can do that, then you build around Jack.
“He is a player who has to be playing at the highest level and I feel he is showing he has the heart to do it.”
“He was excellent,” said Smith. “You’ll probably won’t see, hear or write about this but he ran 60 yards back to dispossesses their player in our penalty box.
“It was a captain’s performance. He was integral to everything going forward and there’s no surprise he scored in front of the Holte End, got three points and an assist as well. All in all, it was a really good performance from him.”
“We have seen him going through the gears in recent weeks – his creativity and vision is second to none. The question mark over Jack has always been, can he score and supply enough goals?
“He is starting to answer that now and Villa have a hell of a player on their hands. He is an amazing talent, no doubt about that. When he plays well, Villa look a really exciting and strong side.”