Connect with us


“I do take a lot of risks” – Jack Grealish dismisses claims of restricted performances under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City



| Last Updated:


Manchester City’s Jack Grealish has dismissed claims of a more restricted style of play under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, compared to his time with Aston Villa.

Some supporters have often found themselves being critical of Jack Grealish’s output in front of goal under Pep Guardiola since making a £100 million move to the east of Manchester from his boyhood club Aston Villa in the summer of 2021.

Across 125 appearances in all competitions to date for Manchester City, Grealish has scored just 14 goals and provided 18 assists, despite winning a staggering six trophies in the process including the UEFA Champions League and two Premier League crowns.

However, some supporters are more understanding of Grealish’s role under Guardiola, realising that the England international is perhaps the best at Manchester City for retaining and controlling ball possession in advanced areas of the pitch.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Jack Grealish insisted that his style of play at Manchester City continues to hold plenty of risk, with Pep Guardiola changing his perspective on the way football is played.

“He’s just made me see the game different,” Grealish said. “I know some people say, ‘Oh he don’t dribble as much now, he don’t run at defenders’, but I do. It’s just the team that I’m in now is a little bit different to what it was like at Villa.

“At Villa we wouldn’t really play against teams that did a low block. At Villa you could afford to give the ball away, say like two times out of five you could afford to give it away. Whereas at City we’re a possession-based team, we like to control the ball and control the game, and have that control in possession, whether that’s if you’re against a team in a low block and you’re going from side to side.”

Grealish continued, “You go from side to side to wait for the one moment to where it’s, bam, and you can attack; whether you’re having a shot or playing a pass. Whereas at Villa, it was different there, and I don’t know if that’s me being a bit cautious thinking, ‘Right I can’t really give the ball away here’, do you know what I mean?

“It was a lot different to what I thought, because I’d been at Villa my whole life and the team had really been built around me, especially in my last three years there. So I could afford to take a lot of risks, whereas now I do take a lot of risks, probably just not as many.

“But listen, I loved my time there, and the manager now is just… Sometimes I sit there and think, ‘How have you even thought of that?!’ It’s just… some of the stuff that Pep comes up with is just unbelievable. He’s just made me see football different.”

There have been tenuous claims in recent weeks that Grealish could be the subject of ambitious transfer interest from the likes of Chelsea, given some of the frustration around his performances for Manchester City.

However, the understanding from within the Etihad Stadium is that not only is Grealish himself more than content with life at Manchester City, but that Pep Guardiola is keen to retain the player’s services into his final contractual season at the club.

On the subject of Pep Guardiola, it remains unknown as to whether the Catalan coach will look to extend his stay with Manchester City into a 10th season at the club, with officials within the Etihad taking a relaxed approach to any extension conversations.