Jack Grealish: England midfielder says he ‘loves pressure’ after impressing in Belgium | Football News

first_img Ashley Cole and Jamie Redknapp discuss what Jack Grealish offers England and how he fits into Gareth Southgate’s system England’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals were ended as they lost 2-0, but Grealish earned man-of-the-match honours as Gareth Southgate’s side produced an encouraging second-half display.“I absolutely loved it,” Grealish told Sky Sports. Harry Kane said he enjoyed playing alongside Jack Grealish in the Aston Villa man’s first competitive start for England against Belgium on Sunday 4:38 – Advertisement – Gareth Southgate praised the performance of Jack Grealish in England’s Nations League defeat to Belgium “For me, this is what I have been waiting for. These are the games that I dreamed of playing in. This is what I love, the pressure of needing to play well.”Grealish’s initial failure to break into Southgate’s squad – and then into his starting lineup – has been a bone of contention among many onlookers, who are convinced the 25-year-old offers a level of creativity that England are otherwise missing.While Grealish has made a fine start to the Premier League season, scoring four goals and providing six assists in Villa’s opening seven games, it was perhaps only injuries to first-team regulars Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling that saw him given his chance.Asked if Grealish had moved up the pecking order, Southgate told Sky Sports: “Yeah, 100 per cent.“I sort of explained to him what we wanted to see when we brought him in in September. I think it’s been helpful for him to bed in with the group so that he knows the way we want to play and the players get an understanding with him. And today was a great game for us to see him in and to see the level, and I couldn’t speak highly enough of his performance.“What I saw that I knew I would see was somebody with the bravery to play. I think he took the ball in tight areas, his techniques were good, he took players out of the game – we knew he would buy a lot of free kicks, which of course he did. I just thought he was outstanding and he should be absolutely delighted with the way he played.” Jack Grealish England Chat Thumbnail England captain Harry Kane provided an additional stamp of approval on Grealish’s display.“Fantastic player, really like him, really like training with him,” Kane told Sky Sports.“It was great to get out there on the pitch with him today. You can see his qualities on the ball, once he gets on it he’s not afraid one-v-one, always looking for that pass forward, which is obviously great for a striker.“So really positive signs, he’s obviously been on great form for his club as well, so he’s just got to keep his head down, keep working hard as he has done and I’m sure he will get plenty of opportunities in an England shirt.”Despite the high praise from coach and captain, Grealish is refusing to get ahead of himself and remains aware of the hard work that will be required to keep his place in the starting lineup. – Advertisement – Jack Grealish was the star of the show even in defeat for England and now his manager Gareth Southgate sees it too, writes Adam Bate.“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood,” wrote George Orwell. This was the night, surely, even in a 2-0 defeat to Belgium that ended England’s Nations League hopes, that Gareth Southgate came to understand Jack Grealish.The touch that will be remembered for some time came in the 79th minute, a delicate caress with the outside of his right boot that deceived Thomas Meunier and allowed Grealish to race free. The pass to Harry Kane that followed proved it was not just for show.There were plenty of them on a night when England lost but Grealish won. The debate about whether he should be in this squad is over. Discussion over whether he has a place in this team should stop too. A more fitting question is whether he is now England’s best player. Jack Grealish impressed on his first competitive start for England 5:51 Jack Grealish says he “loved the pressure” that came with making his first competitive start for England as he starred despite a Nations League defeat to Belgium.The Aston Villa midfielder started last month’s friendly victory over Wales but had lodged just 14 minutes of competitive action – in September’s 0-0 draw in Denmark – before Sunday’s encounter with the world’s top-ranked side in Brussels.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Jack Grealish in action for England against BelgiumImage:Jack Grealish produced a brilliant performance for England against Belgium 0:27 “He’s [Southgate] just obviously praised me after the game, which is obviously nice,” Grealish said.“He’s been brilliant with me since I first come here in September. He’s told me what I need to do to get into the side and I’ve gone away and worked on that. At the end of the day that’s what you need to do in football, there’s only one person that you need to impress if you want to get in the team and that’s the manager.“You look around the changing room and there’s unbelievable talent. There’s people that weren’t in this squad, the likes of Marcus and Raheem, there’s even Jadon (Sancho), Phil (Foden), there’s Mason (Mount) – all in my position, who are all world-class players.“Especially the two that aren’t here at the moment, Raheem and Marcus, when they’ve both been here I’ve tried to learn little bits off them and hopefully I can continue to do that because it would obviously be a dream for me to play with them one day.”Grealish genius earns Southgate trustlast_img read more

S’Eagles Captain, Musa, Snubbed Ronaldo for Messi, Rohr Voted Mbappe

first_imgFemi SolajaSuper Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa, and Coach Gernot Rohr did not vote for Cristiano Ronaldo respective as Argentina and Barcelona star, Lionel Messi emerged winner of the FIFA Best Player of the Year for the sixth time on Monday night in Milan, Italy.Musa was spot on in picking the Barcelona star as his first choice to win the award for the sixth time. Super Eagles coach, Rohr, picked French World Cup 2018 hero Kylian Mbappe as his first choice. Messi won the 2019 FIFA Best Award with 46 points, eight points ahead of Virgil van Dijk with Ronaldo third on 36 points.Many football pundits tipped the towering Liverpool defender van Dijk to win after he had earlier won the UEFA top prize weeks ago. Others went for Ronaldo who did well for both club and country Portugal.But FIFA’s voting process that enables national team captains and coaches as well as top football writers all over the world to decide the winner favoured Messi for a record six time.A forensic auditing of the voting pattern obtained by THISDAY from FIFA website moments after the event in Italy showed that Super Eagles captain, Musa voted Messi as number one followed by Ronaldo before his fellow African star, Mohamed Salah.Rohr on the other hand, voted Mbappe, van Dijk and Eden Hazard in that order.The trend of voting by Nigerians had always favoured the Argentine over his arch-rival Ronaldo going by previous votes by late Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi, Joseph Yobo, Vincent Enyeama and John Mikel Obi.Interestingly, from the analysis of the global voting result, Messi as Argentina captain voted for Ronaldo as his second in a choice of three players. His number one choice was Senegal’s Sadio Mane while the third was Frenkie De Jong.Ronaldo who is also captain of Portugal did not vote for Messi. Instead, he opted for Matthijs De ligt, De Jong and French player, Kylian Mbappe.It is suspected that Ronaldo did not vote for anyone who could be a threat to his possible emergence as winner.Van Dijk as captain of Holland voted Messi as number one, his fellow Liverpool stars, Salah and Sadio Mane in that order.Ronaldo who did not turn up for the event in Milan, waxed philosophical on his Instagram account shortly after Messi emerged winner.“Patience and persistence are two characteristics that differentiate the professional from the amateur.“Everything that is big today has started small. You can’t do everything but do everything you can to make your dreams come true. And keep in mind that after night always comes dawn,” wrote the ex-Real Madrid man.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more