Grealish to Man City for £100M; Thoughts

Apologies for not having posted for a good while. The truth is I’ve quite enjoyed not really having to think about football at all. The Buendia signing seems an excellent one and that nearly nudged me into writing something, but somehow I just didn’t get round to it. The Ashley Young signing didn’t do anything at all for me, although it seems pretty popular amongst the fans generally.
Even England haven’t really inspired me much. I enjoyed our first half performance on Tuesday, but struggle to see how it’s going to be any different from our usual losing to the first decent team we face. That said, I actually think we can beat Germany if we perform.

The news today is that Aston Villa have agreed a £100 million fee to sell Jack Grealish to Man City as soon as he has come away from the Euro tournament.
It’s just too big a story for me to pass up.

I’m usually very sceptical about any press speculation, but I have a very sneaky feeling there’s something in this story. There’s no vagueness or guesswork in the wording and it all seems very definite.
I think I’ve voiced my opinion before, quite recently that I could partly see Jack leaving this year with the thought being that after the money that Edens and Sawaris have spent, I couldn’t really blame them for wanting to recoup some of it.
If the sale does happen, I can see it all being spent and the reality is that £100 million will buy some very decent players. There’s debate to be had about whether getting those players in will make up for losing a player who has opened all football fan’s eyes, but I very much doubt the club have taken the decision lightly and there must have been a lot of thought put into it.
There’s also the fact that we don’t know how the player himself feels. I don’t think for one minute Jack would hand in a transfer request, but you can’t blame him if he wants to win silverware at Man City. And given that it seems Pep still wants Harry Kane as well, you’d have to think that that silverware will be forthcoming this season.
We also have to consider that Jack was supposed to be leaving last season and we apparently managed to dissuade him from going by saying that we would allow him to leave when the time was right.

So of course I’ll be gutted if Jack does go, but I can mostly understand it.
My biggest complaint is that I personally think it’s too cheap and I’ve always had £130 million in my mind. I also think if it does happen, we’ve let it all happen too easily and I’d have liked to see the club put up a bit of a fight and at least on the face of it, reject the bid.

I also have a concern that the team look decidedly average without Jack. That said, I think Dean Smith knows a decent player and can overall improve the team.
Let’s see if it happens, eh?


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  1. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. July 12, 2021 at 6:31 am . Reply

    I’ve been waiting for him to drop a changer Hitch, he’s a very lucky man in the job of England manager, 19 year old inexperienced player taking a pen , late in subbing, two of the questions he should face, all in all a good display and nice to see attacking football a game that would have suited other players rarther than Sacko ,Sancho .Mount gone down in my estimation as a player being better than Foden, or Grealish, gutted but we have the making of a good England football team. Better days ahead hopefully.

  2. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum July 12, 2021 at 2:00 pm . Reply

    Jack tweeted this morning that he wanted to set the record straight. He put his hand up and said he wanted to take one. Southgate chose the order. Apparently Saka is awesome in training taking pens. Maybe nerves? I’m proud of all of them. We were so close, but a bit of creativity earlier on in the second half would have kept the ball away from our goal more.
    Livid on that challenge on Grealish. I don’t even think he was carded. Dirty Italians never change. The Italian team should have had 2 sending off. That one, and the untouchable Chellini nearly choking Saka to death.

  3. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum July 12, 2021 at 2:40 pm . Reply

    There is one thing I would outright ban if I was a manger, and that’s the stupid, pathetic, affected dinking, staggered, stalling penalty taking.
    Just put your bloody foot through it!!!!!!!!!

  4. steve
    steve July 12, 2021 at 2:48 pm . Reply

    I’m sorry i just don’t get all the Southgate hype. He bottled it. He of all people knows the pain of a penalty shootout so why didn’t he try and settle it during the game. We have all this fantastic attacking talent sat on the bench. Yet he prefers to play with everybody behind the ball. He and the FA for appointing him should share the blame. If we play Brazil or Argentina in the World cup will he play with no forwards.
    This is a massive lost opportunity. If Southgate had been more positive with team selection and tactics we would have walked this tournament.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 12, 2021 at 5:05 pm . Reply

      I tend to agree with you Steve. In the end his over cautious approach lost us the game.

      Whilst Sako might be ‘awesome’ with penalties in training, I think Southgate made an enormous mistake in not using his experienced players to take the first five penalties. There’s an enormous difference between training and the pressure in a final penalty shot out.

      Having said all that you don’t get to a World Cup semi final and a Euro final unless, as a manager, you’re good at your job.

  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 13, 2021 at 9:01 pm . Reply

    All gone very quiet on the transfer front!

    Nice video on AVTV of Buendia’s first day at Bodymoor Heath. You know how some players just give you confidence?

    Welcome to Aston Villa Emi.

  6. Holte
    Holte July 14, 2021 at 6:31 pm . Reply

    Jack has been criticised for undermining Southgates decision on penalty takers. Fact is he was just defending himself from criticism from Roy Keane that he and Sterling should have taken one when he actually offered to take a kick.
    On reflection about England I think we missed our best opportunity in years to win the tournament. Southgate has been praised for making a semi final of the World Cup and final of Euros. Fact is we had an easy group and comfortable knockout stage. All of the teams we met were ranked below us yet Southgate seemed scared of playing Germany and Italy by picking a team to neutralise the opposition rather than pick his best team and formation and let the opposition worry about us. Germany are a team in decline and only Italy looked solid throughout. They have an ageing centre back yet we didn’t make him break sweat. Kane played most of the game in centre midfield with two holding midfielders and five defenders. Mount ran out of steam and Sterling ran into brick walls without support. I thank my lucky stars Dean Smith is our manager because I would hate to see him adopt negative tactics like Bruce used to for us. Hopefully Jack will sign a new contract with us and get plenty of game time for a forward thinking manager who is happy four defenders and one holding midfielder. UTV!

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 14, 2021 at 9:21 pm . Reply

      It seems Southgate walks on water for some.

      Grealish was within his rights to defend himself against Keane’s comments.

      Southgate made a number of critical mistakes in the final and was found out. That’s his responsibility and his alone.

      I feel for JG – he was badly used by Southgate who, it seems, is guilty of being a slave to training statistics. A great manager understands the difference in dynamics between training and the real pressures of a final in a major tournament. In this instance Southgate didn’t.

      My comments are not meant to take anything away from what the team achieved despite Southgate’s negativity.

  7. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 15, 2021 at 9:39 am . Reply

    I agree with all the comments here about Southgate after the final, which was a disaster. Yes, I was fully supportive of him up to the final because I believe that, as with Dean Smith, credit should be given when due as well as criticism, not constant criticism. To get to the final was an excellent achievement. Unfortunately, he and everyone involved blew it. And yes, the evidence strongly suggests he bottled it. I think Southgate will have learned more from this one game than in 5 years managing England. Ultimately, Italy play 4,3,3. Our strikers are better than their strikers and quicker than their defenders. So surely, you go like-for-like? Mancini is massively experienced but it was clear that Southgate gave them far too much respect and not enough to his own players. Fear of failure, paradoxically, results in failure.

    What surprised me is the apparent lack of proactive preparation. For example, if we go 1-0 up early, what’s the plan? If we can’t get out of our own half, what’s the plan? If it goes to extra time, what’s the plan? If felt like it was a freeze in the headlights moment for all concerned. Southgate’s coaching team take a lot of the credit when England do well, so they must also share some of the blame, which is primarily the manager’s.

    I can’t understand how, once they got to half-time 1-0 up, and it was obvious something wasn’t right, changes weren’t made. We were 45 minutes away from glory. Worse, the second half was played totally in England’s half, but nobody reacted, not Southgate or any of his team. It reminded me of the Liverpool game when Mane scored the winner in the last second after we were 1-0 up for so long. Someone turned to me in the stand and said “they can’t keep this up” – in other words, they will concede – it’s obvious. But no one reacted. This was the biggest mistake, because they had the players to ease the pressure. Yes, Jack would have been perfect to run at them and win free-kicks for 45 minutes, but he didn’t appear until well into extra time. This was fatal, not the penalties. They should have won in 90 minutes. Although, the dirty Italians would probably have sent Jack back on a stretcher. How Jorginho wasn’t sent off for the stamp is beyond me. My dad was adamant the ref was on their side. And then there was the constant insistence of Pickford to roll the ball to Stones or Maguire and play out from the back, even tough they couldn’t get out of their half. Boot it down the field FFS – win it and keep it in the final third for a while – ease the pressure. But, no…

    Then the penalties. Putting Rashford and Sancho on and taking Walker and Henderson off last minute. Both Walker and Henderson should have been there to take one, as well as Shaw. Not to mention Jack and Sterling. These are the experienced players who are use to high-stakes pressure situations. Nobody could believe it when Saka stepped up for the most high-pressure penalty in the history of penalty shoot-outs. Miss and you lose the title, after 55 years, at home. It was a horrible error of judgement by the manager and his team. Again, not prepared enough. Surely, the question ‘what if the 5th penalty is do or die – who will take it?’ should have been asked. These shoot-outs are not about how good you are at taking penalties; they’re about temperament. Any professional footballer who can’t take a decent penalty without pressure should be ashamed of himself. It’s when the pressure is on that the characters step-up. A comment on Jack’s temperament. This is a guy who can get punched in the head my a fan during a pressure match, then dust himself down to score the winner. Say no more.

    Also, If your keeper saves 2 out of 5, you should be winning a shoot-out. But then I wonder why do keepers guess and dive, when so many penalties are poorly hit in these situations? Just wait and you’ll more than likely save it. To save a Jorginho penalty is magnificent, and it was only possible because he waited. Yet, the third (I think) was a practically pass down the middle. If he’d waited, he’d have trapped it with his foot! So many lessons to be learned.

    I could go on and on, but I’m just as disappointed as you guys, and I agree that Southgate bottled it and blew it, although I had to feel for him as he looked mentally and emotionally drained in the post match press.

    Now looking forward to the new season and still hope to secure a season ticket, although not likely!

  8. Holte
    Holte July 15, 2021 at 4:52 pm . Reply

    Does anyone on here subscribe to Villa TV? Do you get full 90 minute coverage of Premier league matches after they have played? I know it’s not live coverage but was considering its not bad value if you get pre season friendlies too for £35!

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