Jack Grealish is a fantastic player – but he's not England's savior – originally published on Sportslens.com
Finding a replacement for the dazzling Paul Gascoigne has been one of the most difficult tasks for the English Citizens Team.
There were so many youngsters showing potential, so many false dawns, from your Ross Barkleys to your Dele Allis.
Even Wayne Rooney, a man who was an all-time superstar for Manchester United and became England's top scorer of all time struggled to produce consistently at major tournaments. In the past two decades, finding “the next gazza” has proven nearly impossible.
And now a new challenger is on the scene, ready to rescue the three lions from the jaws of mediocrity and lead them to glory. This challenger is none other than Aston Villa's Jack Grealish.
His appointment to the English squad has been a long time coming. For many months, Gareth Southgate bizarre neglect the mansion playmaker, only giving him the chance when he had almost no choice. The nation asked him to play. And when he got his opportunity, he impressed.
"The way he walks with the ball – I haven't seen an English player since Gascoigne."
Gabriel Agbonlahor talks about Jack Grealish's appearances for England and how he was helped by a change of position… pic.twitter.com/1rfpFnD9ap
– Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) 17 November 2020
Although Grealish landed on the losing side in Belgium, he was recognized by many fans and experts for his praise. He showed flair, bravery, inventions – the whole lot. The only thing missing was a goal or an assist. Many now believe the 25-year-old could be the man taking England to the next level.
However, putting your hopes in one player is a dangerous game, and it may be unwise to put that pressure on Grealish.
First, there is no guarantee that he will be a starter at all. After all, he didn't earn his first cap until September. Not to mention that the competition for the wing seats is very fierce.
Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford will all battle for first team spots. And since Southgate apparently insists on playing a 3-4-3 formation, he'll likely have to beat two of the above three to secure a spot.
In addition, a lot of media hype rarely ends well. People can have unrealistically high expectations of a particular player, leading to mass disappointment if that player does not meet these standards.
It was not long ago that John Stones was touted as the next John Terry. A couple of seasons fast forward and his time in an English shirt seems to be over.
In other cases, a player might start to believe their own hype. and develop an attitude problem as a result. Grealish himself was already embroiled in a handful of controversies. He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.
Of course, it doesn't always have to be a hindrance to be controversial – Gascoigne himself was known for that. However, at this stage in his career, it is certainly best to keep him out of anger, keep his feet on the ground, and focus on his football.
Grealish is a very good player. He offers something that no one else in the English squad can and if used properly he could be a superstar on the international stage. Just don't put all your hopes on him because it could only break him.