Football journalist David Ornstein has been sharing some insight into Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and his journey to make it into the England squad for the European Championships.
This comes after Ornstein made an appearance on a recent episode of The England Show from The Athletic where he spoke about a range of subjects concerning the national team and the upcoming tournament.
On the subject of Grealish, his current inclusion in the squad and the history of his relationship with the national side, Ornstein had this to say on the situation.
He said: “There is some background here, Jack Grealish didn’t come through the England system and the FA place a lot of emphasis on that pathway, it’s not make-or-break, but they do seem to look well on it.
“It didn’t always go well for Grealish with the U21s and Aidy Boothroyd; depending on who you speak to, there was a bit of tension there, Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd are very close to each other, and then every time Southgate is pushed on Grealish, pre or post-match, he makes a point of not lavishing praise on Grealish in a way that he did with James Ward-Prowse immediately and effusively.
“I think that’s quite telling, his discourse around him, the public are almost baying him to coronate Jack Grealish, and it doesn’t seem to come, and I think that’s quite skilful.
“I also think it’s quite resilient of Southgate to sort of have the courage of his own convictions and not to sort of build extra hype around a player who is going to have a lot of attention.”
TIF Thoughts on David Ornstein’s comments on Grealish…
Despite an alleged problem between Grealish and Southgate being mentioned in the past, the fact that Grealish started both of England’s recent international friendlies against Austria and Romania suggests to us that Southgate doesn’t have an issue with playing the Villa man and could use him as a regular starter throughout the upcoming tournament.
Do you think Jack Grealish will start against Croatia?
Also, taking into account the form Grealish showed for Villa this season, ending the campaign as their highest-rated player according to WhoScored with an overall rating of 7.56/10, despite only playing in 26 out of their 38 Premier League games, this shows that he should very much be in the frame to start their opening game against Croatia, in our view.