Jack Grealish did not have the ‘best’ of games against Newcastle United. Some shots were too powerful, some too soft and some too inaccurate. His moves didn’t open up Newcastle a great, great deal and he was crunched when dwelling on the ball. However, it is only by the high standards that Grealish has set at Aston Villa for himself that he endured a ‘disappointing game’ at all.
After enduring a disappointing international break - where Villa’s captain oddly missed out on a seemingly obvious international call-up after pushing himself into contention for the Premier League Player of the Month for October - Grealish returned against Newcastle United earlier tonight and looked more than lively, even if he didn’t succeed in everything that he did, he is clearly a gifted and talented player.
If Grealish is missing out on the England squad, it is nothing to do with his playing ability but a perception of his ‘reputation’. This, if it is the case, is annoying, confusing and flat-out bullsh*t. Jack is clearly good enough to serve as a rotation call-up for Southgate’s Lions, and if he isn’t, it’s England’s loss. Grealish seemed fit enough to travel after a leg injury had held him back - but didn’t make the team. If he continues his form over the Holiday season and misses out again, there will be cause for concern amongst those hoping to see him don the England kit.
The Sky Sports broadcasting crew complemented Grealish with a right backhander of a sentence - stating that Grealish needs to perform more consistently if he wants to earn a call-up to the England squad. This is pundit speak for ‘I genuinely do not have any notes on Grealish for some reason.’
If anything, Jack Grealish has been consistent enough to earn a call-up. He hasn’t put much of a foot wrong all season and has played at the same standard all season long. He still carries the ball well, he still contorts time and space as ever, he still demands the entire defensive attention of a team and he still plays a heck of a pass. There are minor, minor, disappointments in that he hasn’t racked up the tantalising goal and assist stats - but in the eye test, Grealish shows up as an incredible player of almost mutant difference. He has more than others can give, and it doesn’t always, always come off for him - but he needs to be judged in a separate way. His ability and style of play demand it.
Jack Grealish didn’t have his greatest game of all time, but for other players that is still an 8/10 Man of the Match game. For that reason alone, he is damn well good enough for the Three Lions.