Jack’s Next Level
This season, up until the Brighton game at Villa Park, Jack Grealish had shown what he was capable of in patches, but he’d perhaps not imposed his will on a game enough to fully influence the result in a positive manner.
In Villa’s win against Brighton, last week, his footprints were all over the game. Grealish pulled off Houdini acts in his own penalty box, pieced through Brighton’s midfield with dagger-like runs and proved to be an omnipresent menace around Brighton’s penalty box. Even when VAR decided to rule out Hourihane’s first half equaliser, it was as if Grealish had decided, no, his team were going in level at half-time, after all.
As with any decent footballing performance, it often results in hyperbole rather than rational praise, nowadays in the media (or on social media). Yes, it was Grealish’s most complete performance to date, but, no, it wasn’t the greatest performance ever witnessed at Villa Park, as one giddy soul put it.
The likes of Dwlight Yorke, David Platt, Paul McGrath and Dean Sanders have each put in numerous better shifts each, and that’s before you even entertain the likes of Mortimer, Shaw, Little, Cowans et al.
Back to reality, when the fast-improving Grealish found out in a post-match interview that Gareth Southgate was in attendance at Villa Park, he was noticeably pleased. He knew the England boss had finally witnessed his true potential, after perhaps leaving him wanting to see a little more on previous inspections.
What Grealish can do against a 10-men Brighton team and how he fares against the 11 men of last season’s League Champions (or a week later, against last season’s European Champions), are potentially two different things.
At the Eithad though, Grealish will get a chance to show Southgate, who will be present, that they aren’t, and that he can shine not matter who the opponent.
It’s an exciting week for Grealish. Captaining his boyhood club against the two best teams in the land, with a juicy local derby cup clash against Wolves in front of a full Villa Park sandwiched in-between.
While, Grealish’s absence from the England squad is understandable so far, he does potentially offer Southgate something different and his form is increasing his list of admirers in the media.
Certainly, if he produces the goods in the coming week, then an England call-up in November should be a formality.
In the latest My Old Man Said podcast we discuss Grealish’s situation and his recent performance in greater detail, as well as look at the VAR situation in relation to Villa and a lot, lot more.
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Episode 89 Show Notes
Jack Grealish Delivers Hope as Villa’s VAR Wars Continue
Aston Villa finally lifted the curse of the not being able to beat 10-men, at their third attempt, as they overcame further VAR frustration, after Jack Grealish inspired his team to an injury-time victory against Brighton.
David, Dan & Chris discuss the Villa captain’s most impressive display so far this season, as well as deconstruct VAR and shed some light on what the club has to say about it, based on the season, so far. The Brighton game at Villa Park is also broken down, as are the various levels of performances across the Villa team.
Also, we look at Ajax fan’s master plan for their trip to Chelsea, which they’re banned from. The loop hole that potentially allows 21,000 fans to watch Wolves away game at ŠK Slovan Bratislava, that’s meant to be behind closed doors. Plus, this week’s parliamentary committee on football administration, that raised some eyebrows to the way the bodies that run the game operate.
Link to see stream of Parliamentary Committee on Football Adminstration – https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/789226a0-609a-4ab3-bd43-d93ef941bac9
There’s also the return of ‘Twitter With Tony’ and a Scot Hogan Touch Count Challenge, as Villa’s loanee to the Potters begins to sample victory.
Further reading – Five Reasons to be Cheerful as Villa Fans
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Producer/Editor – David Michael