Jack Grealish explains the “freedom” he gets with England compared to Man City


Jack Grealish lifted the first major trophy of his career last month as Manchester City won the Premier League and the 26-year-old has opened up about the differences playing at his club compared to with England

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Gareth Southgate reviews Germany draw

There are probably some killjoys out there who disapproved of Jack Grealish’s Premier League title celebrations.

There are probably some dullards who tut-tutted when he had one too many before making a private-jet beeline for Wayne Lineker’s place in Ibiza.

But that is Grealish for you. It might have got him into a bit of bother now and again but he is something of a free spirit. He is not your identikit academy-reared elite footballer. And that applies off AND on the pitch.

Yet at the end of his first season under Pep Guardiola, Grealish admits he has sometimes felt as though he has suppressed his natural game… and that it is with England when he can truly express himself.

He explains: “I feel sometimes when I’m here (with England) I can try and play with as much freedom as possible. I felt like I did that against Germany.

“I feel at times I’ve played a bit safe at City but when I come here I feel like even in training I feel like I train really well. Score goals, get assists. When I come on the pitch… it’s hard to explain… I do feel like I play with a lot more freedom. Hopefully, I can transfer that into my club football and keep on improving. ”

Asked directly if he thought he had not played with enough freedom for City but has with England, he replied: “I do think that, yeah.”

Jack Grealish has struggled to nail down a starting role for the Three Lions



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Should Jack Grealish start for England against Italy on Saturday? Let us know in the comments below!

Considering their respective coaching styles, it seems a little ironic that Southgate gives Grealish more of a risk-taking license than Guardiola does.

But that appears to be the case.

“Of course they’re two different managers so it’s always going to be difficult,” says Grealish. “Pep’s a lot more structured. You can not complain because of what he’s done in the game, how successful he is.

“Whereas with Gareth, you obviously have a formation and a structure but he says to me if you feel like you need to go to the other side of the pitch to get the ball then go and do that. But the freedom is more in myself. Hopefully I can try to transfer that to City. ”

Jack Grealish won the Premier League in his first season at Man City


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Grealish is not the type of talent that should be measured by statistics and numbers, but tallies of three Premier League assists and three Premier League goals hint at first-season Etihad struggles.

Nevertheless, it was a memorable year for the 26-year-old.

He goes on: “That’s why I went to City, to win titles and, honestly, that was one of the best days ever. I think it’s something I’ll never, ever forget because it was my first. Obviously I’ve got to try and build on that.

“I feel happier and, hopefully, it’s a little bit of relief off my shoulders, you know. I’ve come to City to win stuff and that’s my first one, so hopefully there are a few more to come. “

And, hopefully, a prize or two with England to come.

The City midfielder helped change the game in England’s favor against Germany last time out


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Even though he was only on for about 20 minutes, Grealish was, arguably, England’s best player in the 1-1 draw in Munich. But he knows there is still a lot of work to be done to convince Southgate he should be an automatic starter.

Grealish says: “There’s so many talented players in that dressing room, especially in my position. Even the players that aren’t in the squad – the likes of Jadon (Sancho) and Marcus (Rashford), even Phil (Foden).

There’s so much talent – there’s Bukayo (Saka), who’s had a brilliant season, Jarrod (Bowen), Raheem (Sterling), who’s already played brilliantly for England. I know it’s always going to be difficult but I’ve got to keep taking my chances when they come. “

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