There is no better slice of humble pie to be served than the one that Villa fans were granted when they laughed off former Scotland boss Peter Houston’s assertion that John McGinn, then a plucky midfielder for Hibernian side, was a better player than Jack Grealish. While Grealish’s talents are obvious, and shouldn’t be swept aside here, McGinn took the Championship by storm - and could be one of Villa’s best buys of all time.
It cost Villa a small fee of under five million pounds to bring McGinn down from Edinburgh in a move that now seems like robbery. McGinn brought goals, style, hard-work and so much more to a Villa side that needed a kick up its backside.
My god did he bring the goals.
McGinn changed things for the Villa in England’s second tier of football. He ran the show at times. His all-action style of running, when he tucks his head into his shoulders and barrels forward - all elbows - is one of the sights of football. The way he plants his bottom, and pivots to beat ANY player EVERY SINGLE TIME is a rare skill move. We call McGinn a throwback, but that’s wrong. He’s the video game footballer, the man capable of doing anything, anytime.
McGinn’s brand of football is a personal moulding of chaos. Trapping a bouncing ball, sprinting into a havoc-filled risky press, tacking a whack of a wild clearance, putting his head into a boot, hitting the ball with every legal part of his body to win a goal. Anything can happen with John McGinn, a man who never stops playing.
No task is too great or too much for John - and his biggest challenge now awaits. You can’t be doubting John McGinn, can you?