Jack Grealish - A True Claret and Blue?
In the Guardian, on the 14th October, 2014, Jack Grealish stated after signing a new four year contract, "I’ve grown up supporting the club. In fact I’ve had a season ticket at Villa since I was four years old and came to every game so this is a big thing for me and my family." Fast forward thirteen months, and the new Aston Villa manager labels Jack, "Unprofessional", as he is dropped from the squad to face Watford, in a must win match. This comes after Jack's latest late night antics, after a weak showing in a 4-0 drubbing at Everton. This wasn't the first time in 2015 that Jack's decision making was questioned.
During the summer of 2015, Jack was photographed fast asleep in the street, after a late night with his "friends." This is the same summer that England and the Republic of Ireland were fighting for Jack's international commitment. Aston Villa fans, were a little more lenient during the summer, while many are now supporting Garde and his decision to send Jack to practice with the u21s. His actions during a time where "His Boyhood Club", is rock bottom, and needing everyone to pull together, are disloyal and disrespectful to the fans, club and very possibly his family. Kevin Sr. and Jr. have supported their brother as he rises through the ranks at Villa, a penny for their thoughts right now.
Many Villa fans, including myself are questioning Jack's reasoning, and if he has the strength to rise to the top, or will he allow his success to bring him down. This week, football fans all over the world were celebrating George Best, and the talent he was as a player. Sadly, for George, and his family, his career, and life ended too soon. I'm not saying Jack is on George's path, but who knows where Jack's career and future may end.
Addictions and bad choices, have been the fall of many a great man, and even though Jack has every Villa fans dream job, his talents haven't been displayed on a regular basis. He has a long way to go before he is great, consistently good, would be a start. Fans would say Jack has made more of an impact on the pavement, than he has in success at Villa. His performance against Everton was well below par, and was rightly substituted.
I'm not looking for Jack to be Aston Villa's savior, but at this time Jack needs to save himself. He needs to learn who he can surround himself with during this time. One of the seven pillars of success in the work place is your social network. A positive one will bring you success, I don't need to tell you what a negative one will do.
Jack needs to understand, no matter how much talent you may have, you only get a certain amount of chances to show it. Villa fans give one of their own, a little more leeway, but they know words are cheap. In his own words, "The club to show this faith and trust in me, I’m really appreciative and I’m determined to repay that trust." “I know I have to continue to kick on and push on now. I have to keep developing and progressing and strive to be as good a player as I can possibly be."
Jack, those words were over a year ago, please tell us how you have kicked on? A good game against Liverpool in a F.A. Cup semi-final, isn't kicking on. You say you love this club, and it's all you ever wanted to do, well it's time you showed it. You are old enough to make good choices, just as you have made bad choices.
How much does this club mean to you? How much do your families' sacrifices mean to you? All their support to get you where you are today. When are you going to repay their trust? The club needs your talent now Jack, it needs you to play your part, and help get us out of the mess you have helped put us in.
Claret and Blue, Jack? Or Bacardi and Coke?