Jack Grealish has hit back at criticism from Graeme Souness and questioned whether the pundit is harbouring an agenda against him. Souness has described the Manchester City forward as overrated, says he takes too many touches and has did not justify his big money move from Aston Villa.
But Grealish laughed off Souness’s assessment maintaining he would only concentrate to criticism if it comes from his mum or dad.
“I don’t know what his problem is with me,” said the forward ahead of England’s Nations league clash with Italy in Milan tomorrow night. “He at all times says stuff about me.
“I try to not read loads of it however it is difficult when he’s on Sky Sports and Talksport and its in every single place across the training ground.
“He was obviously a fantastic player and won loads but I don’t know what it’s with what he says about me or what problem he’s got.”
Grealish, 27, has had a lower than explosive start each to his City profession and the present season through which he has been held back with an ankle injury – a view he accepts.
What he doesn’t accept is that his off-field profile – Instagram visuals of close season holidays in Ibiza and Las Vegas as an illustration – reflect a scarcity of professionalism.
“I used to be just doing what loads of other footballers are doing, but just sometimes I get more attention,” he said. “I attempted to return back as fit as possible and I felt like I did.
“I understand how good I actually am once I’m at my best so hopefully I can get that back but I do know what I’m like and the way skilled I actually am.”
Grealish was on the scoresheet inside a minute against Wolves last weekend and is hoping to construct on that throughout the international double header against Italy and Germany at Wembley next Monday.
“Hopefully, that is the beginning of my season and I can just kick on from here. I’m very critical of myself. I do know that there have been games, especially within the second half of last season where I wasn’t at my best in any respect.
“But I believe I’ll at all times have people on the back of me but I’ve just got to attempt to go and perform.
“There’s not much you may do really. It probably affects my family greater than it does me. Nowadays, people have a lot to say, whether that be on social media or pundits and stuff like that.
“Its just part and parcel of the sport. I’ve needed to learn to take care of it. If someone was saying it like my mum or my dad, I’d listen loads more.
“Once I signed for Man City and the value that got here with it, I knew it wasn’t going to all be laughs unless I began the best way Erling Haaland did.
“That’s the one way I wouldn’t get caned!”