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Sport Jack Grealish brings life to England's monotone football style

01:05  09 october  2020
01:05  09 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The Aston Villa captain may have to adopt a new position or sign for a new club to convince Gareth Southgate of his merits.

Jack Grealish and Jordan Pickford of England before the start of the friendly against Wales at Wembley Stadium. Pre-match reading: Here’ s Jonathan Liew on what Gareth Southgate will be hoping to glean over the next week or so: In football , as in life , timing is everything.

Jack Grealish throwing a ball: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

It was almost as if Jack Grealish had endured enough of England’s monotone football. Grealish is a player who thrives on the colour and life of a football match so England’s tepid, hesitant opening 25 minutes was never going to suit him.

More than most, Grealish was at Wembley to make an impression. It was only in August that he was hearing Gareth Southgate tell us why he wasn’t including the Aston Villa player in his squad.

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Speaking ahead of his Republic of Ireland squad announcement, manager Martin O'Neill explained his feelings towards the Jack Grealish saga.

Jack Grealish ' s form for Carabao Cup finalists Aston Villa means he should be in the next England squad, says Phil McNulty. Jack Grealish was the central figure in a battle of loyalties between the Republic of Ireland and England before finally settling on his international future - now is the time for

‘The simple answer is Mason Greenwood,' said Southgate.

a football player on a field: Midfielder Jack Grealish felt the need to prove himself in England's clash against Wales © Provided by Daily Mail Midfielder Jack Grealish felt the need to prove himself in England's clash against Wales

‘Jack is competing in my view against Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling.’

So with opportunity having come quicker than expected and on the back of circumstance as well as his own good early season form, this was a night when Grealish couldn’t really afford to hang around. An impression had to be made.

Perhaps that is why he decided to drift from his position on the left of England’s front three across the field and over to the right hand side midway through the first half.

For the previous 20 minutes or so, absolutely nothing had happened – for him or for England. So poor was England’s tempo – so lacking were they in urgency – that the game was being played at a walking pace, which was presumably exactly what Wales had wanted.

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Jack Grealish may be named in England ’ s senior squad later this week. According to reports, the Aston Villa youngster has chosen England over the Republic of Jack Grealish is eligible to play for England or the Republic of Ireland. 20-year-old has impressed in midfield for his club Aston Villa.

With the England squad for the last two Euro 2020 qualifiers set to be announced next week, former Grealish has shown this season under Dean Smith that he can function diligently in a No 8 role, which is slightly belied by his low-socks, slick dyed hair and mazy dribbling style - all stereotypical

Grealish changed all that, though. He changed it with one change of position, one very slight trick to square up his defender and one clipped cross on to the forehead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Suddenly England were ahead and the feeling of the game changed.

Gareth Southgate et al. looking at each other: It wasn't too long ago since Gareth Southgate opted to leave Grealish out of his England side © Provided by Daily Mail It wasn't too long ago since Gareth Southgate opted to leave Grealish out of his England side a football player on a field: During the game Grealish drifted from the left of England¿s front three over to the right © Provided by Daily Mail During the game Grealish drifted from the left of England¿s front three over to the right

It was typical of Grealish. There has been some criticism of his final ball in the past. Some say that is why Manchester United never made their move this summer. But so far this season, his use of the ball for Villa has been exceptional. Grealish sees angles and space quite naturally and has the ability to play his passes at exactly the right pace. It’s a gift and from the moment he set up Calvert-Lewin for the goal, it seemed as though a light had come on.

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Gareth Southgate, the England Under‑21s manager, and Aidy Boothroyd, for the Under-20s, have also made personal pleas to try to bring Grealish on board Grealish has impressed Hodgson so much he might even have been included in England ’ s latest squad had the opposition not been Ireland at a

Aston Villa’ s Jack Grealish was targeted by Manchester United but his class shone through with a performance that will have burnished his England credentials.


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Grealish thrives on being Villa’s go-to man for drive and tempo. Early on here he looked a little suffocated by England’s own lethargy. But good players will eventually go looking for the ball – and the influence that comes with it – and his part in the goal gave him the confidence to do what comes naturally.

Soon after he was helping out young Bakayo Sako – struggling on debut at left wing-back – to block a Wales cross and then came a back heel to feed Kalvin Phillips by the left touchline.

a group of people playing football on a field: The midfielder changed the tempo of the game and gave England an element of life © Provided by Daily Mail The midfielder changed the tempo of the game and gave England an element of life a group of people playing football on a field: Grealish also helped out young Bakayo Sako ¿ who was struggling on his debut at left wing © Provided by Daily Mail Grealish also helped out young Bakayo Sako ¿ who was struggling on his debut at left wing

England’s formation had not helped Grealish early on. It hadn’t helped anybody apart from those who were playing for Wales. Southgate’s back three was too often a back five and as such far too much of their football was played in front of a Wales side that was hardly even asked to turn round and face its own goal.

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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith comments on speculation over star player Jack Grealish ' s future at the club. Smith said the future of Grealish will wait until the summer and was adamant that the midfielder was focussed on the Carabao Cup final.

Aston Villa' s Jack Grealish free for England selection following Fifa clearance. Now after a tortuous six month process, Grealish has been told he can play for the Three Lions although his lack of A Fifa spokesman said: “The Single Judge decided to accept the request of The Football Association and

Southgate had said before the game that he wanted to see Grealish play high up the field. For his club, Grealish will often come deep to find the ball. But most of his best work in the 7-2 rout of Liverpool last Sunday was done in the final third with new team-mates Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins. For that kind of influence to be felt here, England were going to have to play with a little more dynamism.

In truth, Grealish did fall deeper as the game wore on. It may not have been part of Southgate’s instructions but Grealish is not a player to spend long on the periphery and the truth is that England did look better – certainly more urgent – when he was moving forwards with the ball.

Twice around the hour, he was brought to ground by flailing Welsh legs. That was indicative of the fact he was beginning stretch and worry Ryan Giggs’ team. Wales were also increasingly worried by their own defending. Calvert-Lewin was unmarked for the first goal, Conor Coady for the second and Danny Ings for the third. Each of the scorers had good nights but in terms of future selection Grealish probably had most to gain.

It is hard to see Calvert-Lewin replacing Harry Kane as England’s number nine while Coady and Ings will require a sudden shift in the order of things for them to enjoy a run of starts. Grealish is unlikely to be looking that far ahead. For now, he has at least managed to make himself part of the conversation.

a man playing a game of football: Grealish has made himself part of the conversation for the England squad going forward's © Provided by Daily Mail Grealish has made himself part of the conversation for the England squad going forward's Read more

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