Since he was six years old, Jack Grealish dreamed of captaining Aston Villa. The attacker is now flourishing in the claret and blue, portraying his artfulness as well as his leadership skills on a regular basis as the Villans’ skipper. Once again the English midfielder was pivotal in Saturday’s match against Brighton, but it was his exquisite equaliser in the 75th minute that sees him awarded this round’s Man of the Match honours.
The Villa faithful were in full voice once again as Dean Smith’s side were hoping for their first Premier League win since New Year’s Day. The noise inside the Amex Stadium escalated as kick-off approached with the away end ardently chanting “Yipee Aye-ay.” Grealish proudly led the visitors out onto to the pitch hoping to shine against the Seagulls.
However, Dean Smith’s side struggled with no recognised forward for the majority of the game, providing no focal point in attack. Yet Grealish continued to tirelessly work off the ball in order to regain possession, continually causing Brighton’s defenders problems with his skill and agility. He also contributed offensively with intricate passes, though few led to real opportunities for Villa. In the end, Grealish had to do it himself. The attacking midfielder powerfully struck the ball into the top left-hand corner in the 75th minute, prompting delirium in the away end.
Co-founder and writer for Under a Gaslit Lamp Mark Jirobe was impressed with Jack’s intensity:
It should be crystal clear by now that Jack is on a mission to keep Villa in the Premier League. He brings so much to the pitch with his ability, but what he brings in a ‘never say die’ attitude cannot be ignored any longer by supporters, neutrals and even Gareth Southgate.
Since Frank Lampard in 2009–10, no English midfielder has contributed to more goals in domestic competitions at this point in a season than Jack Grealish, an impressive statistic that clearly portrays how influential Grealish is in games. To put Grealish’s season in context, the skipper has an 85.1% passing accuracy and has created 54 chances during the 2019–20 Premier League campaign. These phenomenal numbers highlight how dominant he has been in fixtures this season. Jack has also shown his tenacity, winning 62.5% of his tackles and 62.1% of his duels.
A call-up to the England squad is surely on the horizon, as the national team does not possess a player such as Grealish. On the ball, he floats like a butterfly as he bamboozles defences with his skill, and he stings like a bee with a clinical pass or lethal strike. To reiterate Mark’s point, “Grealish is on a mission.” As such, hopefully there will be many more Man of the Match performances to come from the English midfielder.