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Jack Grealish hits back at Graeme Souness personal criticism

Jack Grealish hits back at Graeme Souness personal criticism

Souness went in on the Manchester City forward for 'keeping the ball' and not improving since he left Aston Villa over a year ago.

Jack Grealish has hit back at criticism from Graeme Souness, after the talkSPORT pundit claimed that the Manchester City forward holds onto the ball too long and hadn't improved as a player.

Grealish has had to get use to more criticism in the past 14 months since leaving Aston Villa for Manchester City than he's ever previously been used to.

His £100 million price tag and the fact that he hasn't quite hit the heights of his Villa form have contributed to the spotlight being shone directly on him.

In City's recent Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, he was taken off at 1-0 down before the team went on to win 2-1, with fans going in on him.

Grealish celebrates his goal against Wolves. Image: Alamy
Grealish celebrates his goal against Wolves. Image: Alamy

That criticism clearly resonated with the 27-year-old, who was very honest following City's win over Wolves last weekend, in which he opened the scoring after 55 seconds, even admitting himself he should be scoring and assisting more.

However one piece of criticism clearly got to the England international, with talkSPORT's Souness going in on him for keeping the ball too often.

"For me, he’s not a great player. He’s a good player who has got a big move and is yet to do it at Man City. At Aston Villa he was the most fouled player in the Premier League," the Scotsman said.

"...I understand why people think he’s better than he actually is because he runs with the ball, he gets you on the edge of your seat. But he doesn’t deliver enough."

Whilst on international duty, the City star has hit back, questioning why Souness criticises him and suggesting it's more personal than it is from other pundits.

"I don’t know what his problem is with me. He always says stuff about me, but I try not to read a lot of it," Grealish said when asked about the former Liverpool player's words.

"It is difficult when he’s on Sky Sports and it’s everywhere around the training ground at times. Listen, he was obviously a great player and won a lot, but I don’t know what it is with what he says about me, or what problem he’s got.

"I know within myself, I always watch my games back and I am very critical of myself. I know that there were games, especially in the second half of last season, where I wasn’t at my best at all.

Grealish is currently with the England squad. Image: Alamy
Grealish is currently with the England squad. Image: Alamy

"Nowadays, people have so much to say, whether that be on social media or pundits and stuff like that. It’s just part and parcel of the game.

"It’s in my opinion the biggest sport in the world and everyone wants to talk about it, whether it is good or bad, so you just have to go with the flow really.

"I’ve had to learn to deal with it. It’s more if someone was saying it like my mum or my dad or someone, I’d listen a lot more."

The former Villa captain is currently on international duty as Gareth Southgate's side prepare for their final two games before the World Cup in November.

SPORTbible Stories is the brand-new podcast from the SPORT team at LADbible. The first episode features a chat with former Burnley manager Sean Dyche as he opens up on his departure from Turf Moor, what the future holds and the amazing story of the spin wheel for fines while in charge of the Clarets. You can watch the first episode here.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/talkSPORT

Topics: Premier League, Jack Grealish, Graeme Souness, Manchester City, England