City of Manchester enjoy an almost perfect evening on Saturday with a 3-1 win this brought the champions back to the top of the league, but Jack Grealish could be forgiven for leaving Vicarage Road in a fit of rage.
Grealish was deployed in an unfamiliar false nine role and he was heavily involved in much of City’s attacking play, linked with a conveyor belt of deft technicians. Pep Guardiola selected. He played with determination and persistence and was perhaps a bit unlucky not to score, thwarted by a brilliant Daniel Bachmann save in the first half and the crossbar in the second. But more revealing is tracking Grealish when the ball isn’t near him.
In the sixth minute, when City went 1-0 up thanks to a Raheem Sterling header, Guardiola stepped out to the edge of his technical area and made a frantic wave of hands and head in Grealish’s direction. . Throughout the first half, the manager kept shouting “Jack!” into the cold night, trying to fix something Grealish didn’t explain about her mission in the role.
When Bernardo Silva scored Man City’s second, Guardiola blocked Grealish’s run towards the celebration, dragging him into the touchline to furiously interpret the mistake, his eyeballs bulging, like a man A man with an adorable dog is, once again, defecating on the living room floor.
As Grealish stood there, eyebrows furrowed as he tried to decipher Guardiola’s words in the face of a commotion, perhaps this wouldn’t have happened much under Dean Smith. Before the summer, Grealish had only played for one club, paying off a short-term loan at Notts County, joining Aston Villa 20 years ago at the age of six. Joining Man City is just a harsh environment without moving abroad and Guardiola’s football education is like learning a new language – hard to believe, something you think you already know.
“I found it much more difficult than I thought, adapting to a different manager and teammate,” he said. Daily telegram last week. “At first, I thought I was going to have more possession, get more assists and score goals, but it just didn’t work out. I don’t have as many balls as I used to at Villa. ”
What Grealish needed more than anything was time. Time to adapt, time to learn. That was exemplified at Watford by City man Bernardo Silva. He arrived at the Etihad in 2017 with a total of 22 goals and assists for Monaco last season – the same number that Grealish managed at Aston Villa last year. Bernardo’s impact was not immediate, but gradually his place on the team became more certain, his role now enhanced by starting most games and playing all 90s. minutes, and he’s grown into one of the league’s standout players.
Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling have both taken time to find their way at the club and both ended up blossoming under Guardiola – Mahrez has been out of favor this season but at times during the last campaign. He is Man City’s best attacking player. Like them, Grealish is currently going through her own upbringing, and there’s no better place to study than on nights like Saturday, playing with a winning team mentality.
Guardiola was lively on the touchline but he remained steadfast in his support of Grealish off the pitch. Asked about Grealish’s missed opportunities, the coach said: “Scoring goals is the hardest thing in football. It was important to create the chances that we made and these players with the quality that we have will score a goal. What’s important is how we’re playing.”
After just one hour of competition, Grealish’s No10 flashed on the fourth official rankings. He loitered privately to the “Super Jack” chorus from away team fans, and when he met his manager on the communication line, the reaction was speaking. Guardiola delivered a hug, a creepy smile and a slap on the back almost hard enough to knock out his £100million signing. Another lesson over, with all of Guardiola’s tough loves finally completed, another night to help finally show the best of Grealish in the City’s blues.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/jack-grealish-pep-guardiola-manchester-city-b1970452.html Jack Grealish deserves time to learn Pep Guardiola’s unique football language at Manchester City