What Roy Keane said about Jack Grealish in rant and how former Aston Villa star responded
Jack Grealish was sent a clear message by Roy Keane ahead of Manchester City’s clash with Peterborough United, and the former Aston Villa man responded.
and live on Freeview channel 276
It hasn’t been an easy transition to life at City for Grealish following his £100million transfer from Aston Villa.
As much as it pained Villa fans to admit, it felt like Grealish was ready to take the step up to the Premier League champions.
But he hasn’t had it easy, starting 15 Premier League games, making 26 appearances in all, scoring four and assisting three. That output is below what he routinely managed at Villa, and he has received some criticism on the back of his performances.
Manchester United legend Keane joined that criticism ahead of City’s FA Cup clash with Peterborough at London Road, sending a clear message.
“I think it’s crunch time for Man City over the next few months,” Keane said on ITV. “This is where you will really test as a player, crunch games.
“Jack’s had a few injury problems, [and has] probably been criticised a little bit for his off-field stuff but I think what Jack has to do is grow up and get the trust of Pep.
“He probably hasn’t got that yet, same with England, I don’t think Gareth [Southgate] trusts him that much yet.
“[It’s a] good opportunity for him [against Peterborough]. Whatever Jack’s doing off the field, it does take its toll when you’re an attacking player, it’s another opportunity for Jack. I do think it’s about time he grew up.”
Grealish responded to that message, albeit indirectly, scoring an excellent goal - City’s second of the game.
He brought a long ball down with a perfect touch inside the box and with a marker on his back and slotted home brilliantly.
Grealish stood out beyond his goal, too, managing a WhoScored rating of 8.2 for the game, second only to Phil Foden, who was Man of the Match after two assists.
The former Villa star managed three shots, completing 84% of passes, winning one aerial duel. That’s the sort of performance that will help Grealish as he looks to nail down a regular starting spot under Pep Guardiola having missed out on the last three games.
The England international needs to consistently offer more to a Manchester City side who currently sit top of the Premier League. This is undoubtedly a positive step, and who knows, perhaps Keane provided some late inspiration.