Grealish could be England’s main man in the Euros – all he should be playing for
Posted On June 10, 2021
Gareth Southgate has a range of offensive options available to him, and there is a lot of debate over who appears in England’s attacking areas. Who will play will depend on whether Southgate plays with three or four defenders, whether he plays with two midfielders and who the England boss would prefer to join Harry Kane in attack?
For me, one thing is for sure that Jack Grealish should start against Croatia, and the Aston Villa man has the ability and mentality to be pivotal in Euro 2020 in England.
Ideally Grealish would play on the left flank as this appears to be where he does his best, when he breaks in and fouls the opponent off. He can also carry the ball into the penalty area and project defenses to create chances for himself and his teammates.
Grealish has proven in both warm-up matches that he can be an effective player in England, but he also showed Aston Villa last season that he is the type who can dominate the game and control his team.
In the Premier League last season, Kevin De Bruyne was the only one to average more key assists per game than Grealish. Belgian passes averaged 3.2 keys per game, while Grealish averaged 3.1. The Aston Villa man also had 10 assists in the league, the same as Son Heung-min, who placed him fourth on the assists list. Only Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane got more passes.
To add to his excellent passing game, Grealish is also exceptional at dribbling and carrying the ball. He averaged 2.5 dribbles per game in the Premier League last season, the fourth-highest in the league. To prove his superb dribbling ability, Grealish also carries the ball into dangerous areas, to disturb the opponent’s defence. Grealish carried the ball incrementally 306 times, last season, the highest combined number with Adama Traore. Progressive carries measures when a player carries the ball toward the opponent’s goal by a distance of at least 5 yards or any load in the penalty area. Grealish’s superiority of this statistic is significant, as he not only shows that he has the skill to run towards the opponent’s goal, but he has the confidence to be positive and try to control the match, which may be important in the final stages of the match. euro.
The only thing Grealish gets criticized for is how often he gets fouled or the accusation he goes to so easily. However, I think it comes down to Grealish’s ability to slow down and then speed up when he’s surrounded by players causing fouls. He was comfortably the player most fouled in every game last season, with 4.2 fouls drawn and this could be important as it could create opportunities for England to score from free kicks.
The ability to effectively dribble, key passes, and fouls means Grealish plays a major role in goal-creating actions. The goal creation procedure measures two offensive actions that lead to a goal such as passes, dribbles, and draw fouls. Grealish made 21 assists last season, and his 0.86 average per game is the highest in the league with De Bruyne. This also shows how important Grealish is in important moments and games for England, by having the composure and ability to be involved in goal making.
Moreover, he can obviously be involved in making goals, but he is adept at scoring them himself as well. Grealish scored 6 times last season, which means he beat his xG by 1.7, which shows his ability to score as well as create.
Moreover, after taking all the stats, in Grealish you only have an aesthetically beautiful player, and that’s just a treat to watch. A player who has comparisons to Paul Gascoigne, and it’s easy to see why. A player who can find his way out of a maze of players, and an individual who can get fans to stand on their feet in anticipation of something special.
Grealish also has the mentality of someone who doesn’t seem to be overkill and can handle pressure and will play the same way no matter how important the game is, and you want and need that trait in the big leagues. It is essential to have players who are able to make things out of nothing.
There is debate over whether he can team up with Mason Mount and Phil Foden and debate over who will join Harry Kane in attacking England, but for me, no matter what the formation is or who the rest of the starting lineup 11 is, there is one thing Grealish is sure to have. That starts against Croatia.