100% agree with this, and completely disagree with the notion of dropping our most potent creative force in favour of a more defensive midfielder in certain games.
There is 0 value in inviting pressure onto ourselves in the hope that we can keep the opposition out, and I’m sincerely hoping that that this flawed way of thinking left the club in the same box as Steve Bruce’s mug and family photos when he cleared out his office.
We May well need to defend deep at times given the level of the opposition we’ll be up against, but we need players exactly like Grealish on the field that means that they can’t afford to have their entire team in our half like a battering ram because of the lack of offensive counter threat.
Besides, as you say, he has really shown extraordinary efforts in tracking back and disposessions and closing down of the opposition. He is far from a ‘luxury’ player.
I agree having the personnel on the bench that can close out the last 15-20 minutes of a game will be handy, but to consider starting with 2DMs and a box-box is the kind of defeatist attitude I’d hope Smith doesn’t believe in.