Prior to their return to Villa Park next month, Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has stated that he wants to see Jack Grealish, a former player for Aston Villa, “angry.”
In his six Premier League games this season, the 28-year-old has only managed one assist while competing for playing time alongside new summer addition Jeremy Doku.
The Belgian winger appeared to be keeping Grealish out of the starting lineup for their Champions League match against Young Boys midweek after recording an amazing four assists in addition to scoring the game’s first goal in their 6-1 thumping of Bournemouth over the weekend.
For the star, moving from Villa Park to the Etihad hasn’t been the easiest of transitions after a much anticipated £100 million move two seasons ago. During their most recent season, he recorded five goals and eleven assists, marking the first time he has reached double figures in either category while playing for City.
Grealish will experience another historic moment when he eventually returns to Villa Park later this season because he previously told talkSPORT that his childhood desire was to play just for Villa. To be honest, I’ve told a lot of people that my dream since I was a child has been to play for Aston Villa exclusively.
People often exclaim, “Oh, I wish I could have played in the World Cup.” You know what I mean? I feel like my dream was never to play in a World Cup since there was so much more to accomplish before then.
“My goal was to play for Aston Villa at all times, and after I did, I wanted to play there regularly. After I became a regular, it was natural for me to want to join the England team.
“Once I was on the England team, I felt like I was on the correct track. Recognize what I mean? There’s so much more to do in between, so I wouldn’t have been a young child thinking, “Okay, go straight to the top, I want to win the Champions League.”
“My goal has always been to play for Aston Villa, and the first time I achieved so in the Premier League on a professional level, we were soundly defeated 4-0 by Man City. However, that was the first time, and after I accomplished that, there was still more to do, you know?”
Guardiola has now challenged Grealish to adequately compete for minutes as his team looks to win the Premier League crown for a fourth time in a row after completing a historic treble last year, building on Doku’s performance against the Cherries. “I want Jack to play well and I want him to be angry,” he declared.
“That level of consistency can be maintained in this fashion. It’s Jack again. His performance at Old Trafford gave us greater poise in that situation, and that proved to be crucial for us. Everyone is necessary.
“There will be numerous games, and each player must participate. Additionally, if they don’t play, work harder the following day because the big moment is approaching. If you’re mentally prepared, you’ll play well and help us win games.
“Everyone will be happy, even you. This is what needs to be done.”
The former Villa player received a warning from Guardiola as his team gets ready to visit Grealish’s old haunt in early December after crucial Champions League matches against Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, and RB Leipzig.