Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has been poor by his own self-set standards of last season but in many ways, given the summer he suffered following woeful running by Dr Tony Xia and the always sensible ‘eggs in one basket’ business plan, there was always going to be a hangover of sorts and shoehorning him lately out on the left wing hasn’t helped.
Speaking to the Telegraph this week after penning his new five-year contract at the club, Grealish admitted the period had been unsettling and he did think he was off to Tottenham Hotspur, and obviously his thoughts had turned to getting into the England squad by the end of the season as well as playing Champions League football.
“Of course there’s going to be disappointment there. They’ve beaten Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford, they’re playing Barcelona in the Champions League next week. I felt that if I’d gone there I could have maybe been in the England squad by the end of the year. At the start of the season my head was swivelled, it was all over the place. Even after the transfer window closed, until the end of August, I wasn’t right.”
Some will blast his honesty, I quite like it because he’s not really saying anything most hadn’t already guessed for themselves.
Having his head turned is only natural, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone especially as the club were trying to jettison him to cover the mistakes of others.
“I thought I was leaving. Before the new owners, Villa needed the money so I kind of accepted that me going would save the club. It’s not like I was devastated it didn’t happen, though, because I’ve still got to realise how lucky I am to be playing for my boyhood club. I’ve played over 100 games for Villa and I’ve only just turned 23.”
What matters now is how he gets his form back on track and how we support him to do that. The contract is a statement of intent from our owners, but also Jack in many ways and his own future is in his hands.