A matter of days ago Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish crashed his £80,000 Range Rover, the morning after a party with friends in Solihull which lasted until 4am. These developments have angered and upset football fans of varying loyalties with many rightly branding him a hypocrite, considering the incident occurred only hours after Grealish took to Twitter to urge his followers to ‘Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives’.
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The Villa captain was later seen arguing with onlookers at 8am on Sunday morning, with residents’ photos showing the attacking-midfielder standing next to his damaged vehicle in a hoodie, shorts, a one black slipper and a white slip-on sandal. According to witnesses, the 4×4 was said to have reversed across a road and hit a parked silver van, leaving it with a dented bumper and smashed rear lights. Grealish’s car then drove 200 yards, veering on to the pavement and careering into vehicles including two Mercedes. Grealish was then alleged to have got out of the car and told motorists that he would pay for all damage.
Aston Villa fans will know all too well however that this is not that unusual behaviour for the Birmingham-born starlet. Grealish was pictured inhaling the legal high of nitrous oxide and sprawled on the streets of Tenerife in the Summer of 2015 during a holiday. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make his most recent behaviour expected or accepted by any stretch of imagination. After all, Jack has not only been entrusted as Villa’s captain under manager Dean Smith for roughly a year and a half, his face is plastered over Villa Park’s North Stand and he is universally recognised as the ‘poster boy’ of the club. Additionally, Grealish has also given various interviews to internationally recognised sporting media outlets including Sky Sports, stating he ‘regretted’ the actions of his 19 year-old self and has ‘learnt from his mistakes’. These words make him a hypocrite at best: he has lied and let his boyhood club down.
But what does his mean for Grealish’s future:
As an Aston Villa Player?
While Grealish will likely be stripped of the captain’s armband when the Premier League eventually resumes, there is little doubt that Villa will want to firmly keep ahold of the Englishman. Grealish is indisputably Villa’s main man – supplying a total of 7 goals and 7 assist this season alone – yet keeping holding of the 24-year-old appears improbable if Villa are relegated. Nonetheless rhere is no doubt that his image has been seriously tainted and damaged among even the most loyal Holte-enders.
As an England player for Euro’s 2021?
Jack Grealish is yet to make an appearance for England at senior level and this looks set to continue. While the postponement of the Euros until the summer of 2021 means his chances of making the squad for this tournament are not impossible, they still remain slim when looking at Gareth Soutgate’s prior preference to Mason Mount and James Maddison. While Gareth Southgate’s cold-shouldering of the Villa captain shows the manager has obviously been untrusting of him in the past, there is little doubt that this most recent incident will only put him further behind in tyhe pecking order, behind inform midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley.
As a Manchester United transfer target?
There are mixed reports as to whether or not this most recent incident will play a role in whether Man United will continue to pursue Grealish. While Bruno Fernandes has supplied the United midfield with much needed creativity, there is little doubt that Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be looking to add to this with a new attacking midfielder. Reports throughout the year have consistently alluded to a toss up between Grealish and Maddison in making the move up north. Yet Grealish’s recent actions may deter Solskjær from making a bid, instead opting for Leiecter’s Maddison.
Whatever Jack Grealish’s future may hold, it’s clear that the Aston Villa captain has let Villa fans (including myself) down once again, signalling an immaturity which has been his flaw since bursting onto the scene five years ago. Grealish’s recent behaviour will only delay the inevitable rise of this number 10, not prove terminal to it.