Managers should always be confident that their squad has the best players in the division but Aston Villa manager Dean Smith may rue calling Jack Grealish the best player in the Championship.
The current Villans boss appears to be under pressure after several disappointing results have left them off the pace for the play-off places provided some positive news on Tuesday.
Smith shared that Grealish has resumed full training after his recent injury and is available for selection for Saturday’s clash with Derby County.
However while the Villans boss dismissed the idea that the midfielder being missing as of late was the only reason for his side’s struggles, he did quickly add that Grealish’s absence had hurt team due to the 23-year-old being the best the Championship has to offer.
“It gives everybody a boost. Results wise, we’ve not been as good without him,” Smith said, as quoted by the official Aston Villa website.
“I don’t just put that down to missing Jack – there’s a number of reasons for it.
“James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe have both been missing, for example.
“I believe Jack is the best player in the league and any team that loses that kind of quality would suffer. We’ve suffered a bit, so it’ll be nice to have him back.”
While Smith has tried to distance blaming his team’s poor form on not having arguably the club’s star man to call upon, he still ends up putting all his eggs in the same basket.
It’s bold to call Grealish the best player in the league as there are several talented players throughout the division, including those on loan from Premier League sides.
If the 24-year-old is the best player than Villans fans should be expecteingan improvement from their side regardless of whether his teammates up their game.
Therefore by making that remark Smith has put himself under more pressure now that Grealish is back available for selection, and it will backfire as he isn’t capable of changing the club’s form around by himself.
Especially when you consider that the main problem the Villans’ seem to have at the moment is their defence.
Grealish may be able to create a few more chances for his side and be a creative spark, but him aiding his side’s attack isn’t going to stop his side shipping goals.
If anything he may be able to paper over the cracks by making an opponent’s win look less comfortable by being involved in scoring goals, but that’s about it.
There’s also the fact that Grealish has been out for a notable period and will take time to get back to his best, therefore this could easily lead to Smith looking foolish for hyping up the player’s return.