The forward for Manchester City talks about the disagreement with Newcastle’s hot winger and the World Cup celebration for a fan with cerebral palsy.
Jack Grealish, by his admission, has crammed a lot of “stupid crap” into his 27 years. Certainly, a good illustration is an incident with Miguel Almirón. Grealish was asked by his teammate Bernardo Silva to explain Manchester City’s dramatic comeback victory over Aston Villa on the last day of the season while he was slightly intoxicated and ecstatic (or perhaps it was the other way around).
Grealish, being Grealish, got carried away with one of his jokes and drove right past Newcastle winger Almirón. Grealish claimed in a video posted on social media that one of the tricks was to switch out Riyad Mahrez because had Almirón-like play. Do you understand what? Grealish speaks from the Al Wakrah World Cup training facility for England. “Let me just address that since I haven’t been asked about it.”
And Grealish follows suit. He argues that he had been drinking, but there was no justification. He regrets it and apologizes. Grealish claims he asked former Villa teammate and current Newcastle defender, Matt Targett if he could apologize to Almirón on his behalf. Jack, he’s a beautiful child, he’s harmless, and he doesn’t speak much English… he won’t be bothered,’ Matt just remarked, according to Grealish. “You dig, but I didn’t want to respond to Almirón on social media.”
When Almirón gave an interview after being selected as the Premier League’s player of the month for October, Grealish would reflect even more deeply. Almirón, who added six goals to his season total of eight over the span, said that Grealish’s remark had nothing to do with his outstanding play. Jack is a fantastic player first and foremost, and Almirón wished him luck as usual.
What a guy, I thought, says Grealish. “Because if that had been me and someone had made that statement about me, I would have most likely reacted differently and said, “Fuck it. Even though I didn’t know it was going to be a public video, I shouldn’t have said it since he is a fellow professional. I’ve taken a lot of heat from the Newcastle supporters, and rightfully so.
“I try to have fun and just go with the flow, but occasionally I do stupid things that I do regret. I’ll treat him with the utmost respect the next time we play because he went above and above when he probably didn’t have to. As long as those Newcastle fans stop messaging me, I sincerely hope he keeps scoring.
When asked if Almirón is on his Fantasy Football team, Grealish replies in the affirmative. He responds, “Nah, I don’t play that.” “Everybody enjoys it. Every week, I receive approximately 100 messages asking whether “[Erling] Haaland starting?” It’s not for me. I adore football, but I just can’t be bothered.
Grealish is unapologetically direct and honest. And even though he occasionally strays from the path, his heart is in the right place. In honor of a young City supporter he had met named Finlay, who has cerebral palsy, he performed a wavy-armed celebration when he scored in England’s 6-2 victory over Iran in the first round of group games. Mollie, Grealish’s sister, also suffers from the illness.
Grealish claims, “I don’t do that for any clout or whatever.” “I do that because I occasionally think I’m excellent at it. because my little sister and I can both connect to it. It’s good for Finlay because he can return to school and likely become very popular. It turned out to be very nice and emotional.
Grealish is endearing as he holds court, keeping the conversation light and at one point lamenting the union jack waistcoat that his father, Kevin, insisted on donning to matches. Grealish is in Qatar to have fun and to be himself because that is all he knows how to do and it is the essence of the player he is on the field—a guy who wants to express himself without inhibition.
Grealish’s statistics since his £100 million transfer from Villa to City in the summer of last year haven’t been great – seven goals, four assists in all competitions – and there’s exasperation when he thinks about how such metrics are “all that people go on about now… so much more than they should.”
Grealish brings up Silva, whom he considers to be possibly the best player he has played alongside, to highlight his courage on the ball. Grealish leaps out of his seat to depict a scene from a City game in which Pep Guardiola instructed Silva to steal the ball from Ederson’s toes to practically start a play from the goal line.
“When Bernardo started his little dribble, I thought, ‘What does he think he’s doing?’ He believes it to be school football. Says Grealish. He is incredible. He doesn’t score many goals or provide many assists. But notice how he handles the ball when under pressure.
“Pep says he wants us to show balls, like wanting the ball when the crowd is against us, like at Anfield when everyone is whistling and you’re yelling, “Give me the ball. That is an overview of Bernardo. That’s what I believe I do to some extent.
Grealish’s enthusiasm for the game and his devotion to the ball is always evident. Recent footage of him and his City and England teammate Phil Foden playing a game of long-distance no-bounce, with their gorgeous touches and volleys, was all over it.
Luke Shaw reportedly said to Grealish, “When I come away with England, you can tell who the City lads are. You always have a ball, you always want a ball, he remarked. Being at City helps us with that. At Villa, you would observe players using their phones while seated. then at City, you’re sitting there as guys play two-touch and balls are flying throughout the locker room.
Grealish has contributed in each of England’s three games so far after coming on as a substitute. He intends to seize any opportunity with Senegal potentially waiting in the round of 16 on Sunday.