The following has been written by “Big Fat Ron”. Thanks, BFR.
The Jack Grealish conundrum; why Jack would do well to imitate John, not James
So the dust settles on another International break and what have we learned?
Racism is, indeed, alive and well in football, as if we didn’t know.
Tyrone Mings is, indeed, an England international defender, just as we suspected.
John McGinn is, indeed, a special talent, as everyone now knows.
Jack Grealish has a new “friend.” Who cares?
And James Maddison enjoys a night out in a casino. Who knew? None other than the England manager. Apparently, he knows “everything” about his players. Interesting…
When Mings was selected, there were many moans among non-Villans that he wasn’t good enough and that there were others who should be ahead of him. There was even a suggestion that Southgate picked him to do Villa a favour and raise the club’s profile. Tosh.
Southgate picked him for his ability and also specified that he likes his “leadership qualities”. But what does that have to do with our skipper?
Let’s start with Maddison, clearly ahead of Jack in the international pecking order. There has been a clamour for him to start in the England team. Yet Mason Mount, a relative rookie, gets in first. The press has constantly pushed Southgate on why he hasn’t given Maddison a game. After the casino incident, I suspect that the England boss doesn’t just pick ability; he picks leaders, team-players, and most importantly, good characters.
Now, I’m not saying that Maddison is a bad person because he visits the casino. I’ll tell you what I do know, though. I recall him getting Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off, with the Arsenal youngster seen on TV mouthing “that’s poor, Madds” before trudging off for his early bath. Then I can’t shake the feeling that Mr Maddison is quite focussed on his image. Dare I say all style, little substance? He reminds me of a certain David Bentley, who was supposed to be the next David Beckham, but disappeared into obscurity, not long after hitting the big-time.
And that’s where Jack comes in. I’m sorry to say that our talisman is in danger of falling into the same trap. He has a role-model next to him, the young Scot by the name of John. But while his sidekick was scoring a hat trick for his country this week, Jack was in the news for different reasons, having appeared on social media with Jess Lingard’s ex, a very attractive young model, whose name I don’t care to remember.
Like James, Jack is very keen to pluck, slick, and bleach, unlike John. When I’m sure we, and Southgate, would prefer him to pull his socks up, shave his head, and let below the shins do the talking, rather than above the neck. More substance, less style. Less vanity, and more of the humility that Southgate was championing last summer…
Yes, Jack has come a long way, but I hope he soon realises that John is the man to follow, not James. Time will tell.