Football News

Jack Grealish states the difference compared to Aston Villa that causes his poor form at Man City

Jack Grealish has lifted the lid on his first season struggles at Manchester City.

Jack Grealish has opened up about the difficulties of adapting to life at Manchester City and how that affected his performances during his first season at the club.

Grealish joined City from Aston Villa in the summer of 2021 for a British record transfer fee of £100m, but he did not hit the ground running in Manchester as many expected him to.

At Villa Grealish was a dynamic attacker who was regularly among the top scorers and assist-providers in the Premier League, so when he only scored six goals and provide four assists in all competitions last season, many labelled him a failure.

In reality numbers are not everything, and most City fans appreciate that. Pep Guardiola has repeatedly insisted he didn’t sign Grealish to score the number of goals he did at Villa and has praised the aspects of his game that have improved since he moved to the Etihad Stadium.


However, there is a definite sense that he can give more in a sky blue shirt and that the best is still to come. Grealish has admitted that himself, although he has explained why he has not managed to reach his top level so far.

In an interview with L’Equipe, the 27-year-old explained that due to a number of factors it was harder for him to adapt to life at City than he expected.

“I thought it’d be easier [integrating into City’s set-up], that this was just football, after all. In reality I’ve had to adapt to a new club, new manager, new team-mates… I also had to integrate what Pep [Guardiola] was expecting,” he said.

“At Villa, I was in theory playing on the left, but in matches, I was authorised to change position if I felt it necessary. With Pep, it is different. He tells me to feel free, but in a structured shape, with a precise position on the pitch.”

The differences on the pitch have been mirrored in the dressing room too, with Grealish no longer the main man or local hero.


“At Villa I was captain and I’d been there for seven years [in the first-team]. I knew everyone in a club where a majority of English players were playing.

“At City, I arrived in a dressing room with a lot of different cultures and nationality, including the staff and physios. Therefore, I took some time to adapt to this new environment, that I really appreciate.”


Man City injury doubt couldn’t come at a worse time for Pep Guardiola


Manchester City travel to face Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon and are desperate for a win after suffering a dip in form of late, but Pep Guardiola could be without his top scorer at a time where City are struggling for goals.

Erling Haaland picked up a knock to his foot in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Borussia Dortmund, forcing Guardiola to substitute him at half-time. After the Champions League stalemate, Pep admitted being a little worried about the injury, so there’s a fear that he might need to be rested.

Haaland has made 16 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring 22 goals with three assists. The 22-year-old has hit the target with 27 of his 47 shots and his expected goals is 9.9, so City have benefitted from Haaland scoring goals that most strikers would miss.


His absence against Leicester could be a problem. City have failed to win three of their last four games across the board and have failed to score in those three games too, so Guardiola can’t afford to lose Haaland. Jack Grealish (1), Riyad Mahrez (1) and Julian Alvarez (2) have contributed only four goals collectively after 11 games, so Saturday’s clash could be tricky.

About the author


Leave a Comment