Manchester City – « Everything he does makes sense »: Grealish, first tensions, unwavering defense


An elimination in the round of 16 of the League Cup on the lawn of West Ham, Wednesday (0-0, 5-3 tab). Then a home defeat against Crystal Palace on Saturday in the Premier League (0-2). Let’s not talk about a crisis of results on the side of Manchester City, third in the championship five points behind leader Chelsea, and second in his Champions League group one point from Paris, before receiving Bruges on Wednesday (9 p.m.). But one thing is certain, the Mancunian club is not in its best period.

And inevitably, as always when the machine seizes up, some players crystallize the tensions of the supporters. On social networks, in particular. Among the Citizens, a name has started to emerge regularly in recent matches: that of Jack Grealish, the most expensive player in the history of the Premier League. The England international is an indisputable holder of Pep Guardiola. Out of the 14 matches played since his arrival at City, he started 12 as a holder. Clearly, the left corridor of the Mancunian attack is his. Problem, its statistics do not stick for the moment to this status of indecisive.

Jack Grealish

Credit: Getty Images

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No goals in seven matches

Two goals and three assists in 14 matches: the record is not catastrophic. But the 26-year-old has not scored since September 15, seven games in a row without finding the net. The person concerned has obviously already known such series, even when he was the star of Aston Villa last season. But City is not Villa. And this efficiency problem does not stop at his club situation, since he waited for his 16th selection to score with England, in the wake of a little pressure from his coach on this subject.

Three Lions with whom a discomfort also seems to smolder. « Why he was replaced? It’s a mystery. It’s strange but maybe Gareth Southgate doesn’t think he fits his type of team. », declared his agent Jonathan Barnett, about his exit on the hour mark against Hungary on October 12, when he was one of the most active players on the lawn. Few stats, but lots of activity: Grealish is being true to himself at the start of the season, no matter what jersey he’s worn.

Jack Grealish replaced against Hungary with England

Credit: Getty Images

These are the consequences that vary. If the English coach is less patient, Guardiola continues to trust him, almost blindly. But everything is almost. Because the Spanish technician, beyond the lack of competition on the left – Raheem Sterling is unrecognizable, Phil Foden is aligned in the axis in the absence of Ferran Torres – precisely sees elements to which the general public pays less attention.

Its positioning is still good

« His positioning is always good and he plays very well from the perspective of football., analyzed the former Barça coach after the defeat against Palace. With confidence and a little more time, he will be aggressive in making his own decisions to score. But when he has the ball, everything he does makes sense. He creates spaces. Whenever he has the ball, Joao (Cancelo) and Rodri are alone and they can use it. « 

It’s a certainty: Grealish is not hiding. Canal + He also revealed before the game against the Eagles that he was the second player to have carried the ball the most in the Premier League this season. An element that does not fail to underline the English press – and in particular Mancunienne – about it. But the vice-champion of Europe no longer manages to find himself in positions to conclude in recent weeks.

Jack Grealish

Credit: Getty Images

« I still have to find his best position. The matches he played, he played them well », Guardiola already declared before the first leg against Brugge on October 19. So far, Grealish has played the vast majority of his matches pasting the line on the left, only starting midfield for his first Premier League game with City, in a loss to Tottenham (1- 0). The key will perhaps be, when Guardiola has found a credible alternative in his eyes for the left lane, to give the England international more time in the midfield.

It would even be, seen from above, the logic of things, for a player who obviously matters more by his activity than his statistics. But if these debates could excite the fans citizens at the beginning of the season, they are turning into impatience. This is the lot of a transfer to 118 million. And a period when City is turning a little less smooth.

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