Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


"At City, Grealish is just another fish in the pond" | Keith Treacy

Speaking after Aston Villa's 2-1 win over Leicester, Treacy reckons Grealish is still adjusting to being in a side which has world-class talent to spare. 

Former Republic of Ireland international Keith Treacy believes the sheer quality within the Manchester City squad is the main reason for Jack Grealish's teething problems at his new club.

Grealish left Aston Villa in August for a €117m move to the Etihad.

He had established himself as a crucial player within the Villa team, his creative nous helping the Claret and Blues to 11th place last season in the Premier League.

However, Grealish has struggled to have the same impact with Pep Guardiola's side since joining the club.

Treacy reckons Grealish is still adjusting to being in a side which has world-class talent to spare.

Speaking to Stephen Doyle after Aston Villa's 2-1 win over Leicester, Treacy argues that Grealish will be unfamiliar with not being the sole player from whom all creative play emanates.

"I think that's the difference between being at Villa and being at City," Treacy said.

"When people got the ball at Villa, they were always thinking: 'Where is Jack Grealish? We'll try to get him on the ball.' At City, he's just another fish in the pond."

"Everyone on the pitch for City has outstanding ability; they can do anything they want with the football, so they're not looking for him as much."

Treacy: "At City, when you break the line, you go for the jugular"

Treacy also feels Grealish's tendency to look for fouls contrasts with Pep Guardiola's philosophy.

"With Jack, he gets a lot of fouls," Treacy added. "But City don't want to be winning fouls - they want to get past you and keeping the counter-attack going. When they break the line, they want to go and hurt you."

"When Jack breaks the line, he's happy enough to take the foul and restart from there."

"I don't think that's what Pep wants; he thinks, when you break the line, go for the jugular, don't come back."

"I think it's just a little bit of a mismatch with him and Manchester City at the minute," Treacy continued.

"He needs to plays a little bit more like Mahrez or Sterling -  which is obviously a big ask of him, being a player based predominantly in the centre of the pitch."

"But all the talent is there and he's with Pep Guardiola. He's got a six-year contract, so the best of Jack Grealish is yet to come."

'We've a lot to work on but I'm happy so far' | Gerrard on another Villa win

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Aston Villa Etihad Stadium Football On Off The Ball Jack Grealish Keith Treacy Manchester City Premier League