Jack Grealish | Man City

harms

Shining Star of Paektu Mountain
Staff
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
25,538
Location
Moscow
Someone already playing the kind of selfless, less individualistic football Pep wants in his midfielders. It'd be the scouting department's job to say whom, but it's odd when spending so much to then get a player who needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

Whether it works out down the road - which it might - isn't what I'd query, unless we're saying all Pep signings must take a season to be assimilated, which would be a different discussion.
It’s a bit odd to say “why don’t they sign someone, essentially, better” without offering any alternative. Which player of comparable talent was available that would have no issues adapting to Pep’s system from the get-go?

He was looking for a player that was offering a completely different skill-set than his other, already available options. He’s got one. Whenever he will adapt or not is another question, but, considering a very apparent trend with Pep’s signings, it’s not that unlikely that we’ll see a completely different player next season.
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Scout
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
16,670
Location
Inside right
It reminds me a bit of Joe Cole and Jose, when Cole joined Chelsea, Jose tried to change him completely from the fun flair player that he was, to this more hard working team player, for me, Cole eas never the same, I can see Grealish following a similar path under Pep.
Interesting comparison, and does have undertones of how Cole made his name to how Mourinho wanted him to play. Cole really had to focus in Jose's teams and I felt he struggled with that as it went against the honed instincts he'd been praised for throughout his career and very likely through the youth ranks, too.

Reining these guys in is one thing, but wholly changing them does make you wonder what the point of the exercise is.
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Scout
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
16,670
Location
Inside right
It’s a bit odd to say “why don’t they sign someone, essentially, better” without offering any alternative. Which player of comparable talent was available that would have no issues adapting to Pep’s system from the get-go?

He was looking for a player that was offering a completely different skill-set than his other, already available options. He’s got one. Whenever he will adapt or not is another question, but, considering a very apparent trend with Pep’s signings, it’s not that unlikely that we’ll see a completely different player next season.
I don't think so because Grealish looks like a shadow of himself at City with no expression, no abandon and the things he is famed for being what is most frowned upon and almost sacrilegious thing to do for Pep, which is driving solo runs that may have you dispossessed 'needlessly' at points where you could have passed to open teammates.

That's dereliction of duty for Pep, but brilliant earned hard yards for other managers, so it's not about better per se over more logical a fit.

I thought they'd signed him to be himself with a bit of reining in, but instead we've got a player who is now uncomfortable in his own skin doing the most dour duty whilst mostly just turning on himself and passing the ball to the full-back. It's anti-Grealish.
 

Cascarino

Full Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
5,210
Location
Wales
Supports
Swansea
I know it's really reductive reasoning to resort to thinking he'll be great next season because so many City players under Pep struggle in the first season and then adapt and come back strongly in the next, but I honestly think he'll be great next season. Having said that I agree with a lot of the assertions that to some extent his profile as a player is unsuited to the collective oriented style City employ. I think his ability to resist the press and break defensive lines could be a massive asset to the side though, if he can adapt to the side and become a little more confident.
 

Classical Mechanic

Full Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
34,670
Location
xG Zombie Nation

totaalvoetbal

Full Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
823
Location
Netherlands
Supports
Ajax
If we take it to the conclusion, sure, but there are selfless, considered players dotted around, perhaps uninformed of the minutiae, but certainly considerably further down the path than a maverick like Grealish who has made his name essentially doing what he wants to great plaudits. Now, everything he is and stands for needs to be stripped bare, which is quite strange, to me at least.
That is a big issue with Manchester City's recruitment. To be fair to Jack Grealish, Mahrez would have been seen as the same sort of player when he was signed from Leicester. In fact, I remember people saying Mahrez was a counter attacking player and won't fit into Pep Guardiola's team. I think Grealish will eventually replace Kevin De Bruyne in the long term.
 

Mb194dc

Full Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Messages
3,368
Supports
Chelsea
City bought him for marketing reasons as much for his ability as a footballer...?

If he listens to Pep and adapts like other players who've gone their did he can still be a reasonable signing for them. Pep lets players improve, as he did with Stones who looked certain to be sold at one stage.
 

harms

Shining Star of Paektu Mountain
Staff
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
25,538
Location
Moscow
If we take it to the conclusion, sure, but there are selfless, considered players dotted around, perhaps uninformed of the minutiae, but certainly considerably further down the path than a maverick like Grealish who has made his name essentially doing what he wants to great plaudits. Now, everything he is and stands for needs to be stripped bare, which is quite strange, to me at least.
That is a big issue with Manchester City's recruitment. To be fair to Jack Grealish, Mahrez would have been seen as the same sort of player when he was signed from Leicester. In fact, I remember people saying Mahrez was a counter attacking player and won't fit into Pep Guardiola's team. I think Grealish will eventually replace Kevin De Bruyne in the long term.
I think Mahrez is the best example of this. It still boggles me that he plays for City, considering how his playing style doesn't suit Pep's system at all... yet he's their key player who consistently performs in the biggest games, getting key goals & assists. Somehow Pep had managed to get him to play his way without sacrificing too much of Mahrez's free-flowing individuality.

It's the same with Grealish. He could've signed another interchangeable squad player who would roughly fit into their system but he had a functional team already and Grealish offered him something different.
 

Sir Marcus

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
122
Interesting comparison, and does have undertones of how Cole made his name to how Mourinho wanted him to play. Cole really had to focus in Jose's teams and I felt he struggled with that as it went against the honed instincts he'd been praised for throughout his career and very likely through the youth ranks, too.

Reining these guys in is one thing, but wholly changing them does make you wonder what the point of the exercise is.
I always thought Joe Cole played his best football under Jose - maybe I misremember?
 

kouroux

45k posts to finally achieve this tagline
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
86,802
Location
Djibouti (La terre des braves)
2 goals, 3 assists in the league this season, in 24 appearances are his actual stats, rather this made up rubbish/nonsense.

All of this xg, xa malarkey is just pointless guff, when the only thing that matters is what actually has happened, what the actual stats are.
Those simple stats + watching his games is more than enough to conclude that Grealish has been a massive disappointment.
xG and xA have ruined football discussions
 

MUW4Eva

Full Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
751
That is a big issue with Manchester City's recruitment. To be fair to Jack Grealish, Mahrez would have been seen as the same sort of player when he was signed from Leicester. In fact, I remember people saying Mahrez was a counter attacking player and won't fit into Pep Guardiola's team. I think Grealish will eventually replace Kevin De Bruyne in the long term.
Correct me if am wrong here, but there isn't that many years difference between Grealish and de Bruyne is there?

So not sure about this long term swap thing...
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Scout
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
16,670
Location
Inside right
That is a big issue with Manchester City's recruitment. To be fair to Jack Grealish, Mahrez would have been seen as the same sort of player when he was signed from Leicester. In fact, I remember people saying Mahrez was a counter attacking player and won't fit into Pep Guardiola's team. I think Grealish will eventually replace Kevin De Bruyne in the long term.
If that happens, and was the vision Pep had all along then I'd say that's exceptional, should it work out. It'd certainly explain the growing pains and rigour of this season.

I think Mahrez, as a forward, has more permissible freedom of expression as he's in the team to be a conclusive player (final ball or shot) even if he's still infuriating with selfishness at times. Pep doesn't want that in his midfielders, and you've already named his dream [current] one in De Bruyne who seamlessly makes correct decisions and never gets scolded.

Grealish's story is far from concluded, but it is a most curious debut season for him.
 

MUW4Eva

Full Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
751
I always thought Joe Cole played his best football under Jose - maybe I misremember?
Perhaps he had the best returns, but his style of play completely changed, he was very much a lesser flair person under Jose.
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Scout
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
16,670
Location
Inside right
I always thought Joe Cole played his best football under Jose - maybe I misremember?
He had a great period under Jose, but he couldn't keep it up and he started to fall out of favour for things inherent in his game, but Chelsea fans can give the full literal and figurative breakdown of that relationship.
 

Adam-Utd

Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
35,218
It was clear City bought him to stop others getting him.

He doesn't suit City's game at all but we all said that before he joined. He likes lots of the ball, to carry it and draw players across.

Pep wants him to keep the ball moving quickly and make runs off it into space. It's just alien to him.
 

MUW4Eva

Full Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
751
Those simple stats + watching his games is more than enough to conclude that Grealish has been a massive disappointment.
xG and xA have ruined football discussions
I agree with you about xG and xA, such things are utter drivel and utterly meaningless.
Just use the normal stats that are easy to understand.
Has a player scored, if yes, how many, same for an assist, why the need to overly complicate things??
 

giorno

boob novice
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
22,126
Supports
Real Madrid
Assist is a rubbish stat, xA is the much better metric for creative players

Graelish doesn't score enough, nor carry enough scoring threat for City, that's really what it comes down to
 

Rooney in Paris

Gerrard shirt..Anfield? You'll Never Live it Down
Scout
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
32,038
Location
In an elephant sanctuary
Those simple stats + watching his games is more than enough to conclude that Grealish has been a massive disappointment.
xG and xA have ruined football discussions
I don't think anyone will dispute he's been a disappointment. However, having a look beyond goals and assists at some underlying stats can help figure out what might be in stock for him next season (I think he'll definitely improve, but never become a true cog in the Pep machine).

xG and xA have only ruined football discussions because most people don't understand them, and use them weirdly. As with most stats, if they're interpreted correctly, they're absolutely fine.
 

padr81

Full Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2015
Messages
10,082
Supports
Man City
I think Mahrez is the best example of this. It still boggles me that he plays for City, considering how his playing style doesn't suit Pep's system at all... yet he's their key player who consistently performs in the biggest games, getting key goals & assists. Somehow Pep had managed to get him to play his way without sacrificing too much of Mahrez's free-flowing individuality.

It's the same with Grealish. He could've signed another interchangeable squad player who would roughly fit into their system but he had a functional team already and Grealish offered him something different.
Because its a myth that Pep wants his players to play like robots and not be creative. Its why Mahrez worked eventually too and why Foden works too.

Pep is fine with Grealish running at people and holding the ball as long as he doesn't do it in the wrong area's.
That's the key, Jack has to get much better at it, but has improved recently. Use the ball and move the ball quickly in the midfield areas but do what you want in the final third. Jacks problem was he was trying to do what he liked anywhere on the pitch and that won't fly.

City are super robotic from goal keeper to final third, making sure all the right pieces are in the right position to create overloads and get into spaces or recycle the ball. But once everyone is in the correct position and the ball is in the final third the attackers (including Jack) have free reign to do what they like. When the ball is elsewhere only KDB and Cancelo have that freedom.
 

MUW4Eva

Full Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
751
Assist is a rubbish stat, xA is the much better metric for creative players

Graelish doesn't score enough, nor carry enough scoring threat for City, that's really what it comes down to
Creative players are in a team to create goals are they not??
So not sure why assists is a rubbish stat, when it tells us how good a creative player has been.
 

giorno

boob novice
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
22,126
Supports
Real Madrid
Creative players are in a team to create goals are they not??
So not sure why assists is a rubbish stat, when it tells us how good a creative player has been.
Because assist rely on other players to score. You can lay it on a plate only for your striker to miss an open goal tap in. Or you can make a 3 yard sideways pass 40 yards from goal to a teammate that blasts a thunderbastard in the top corner from 35 yards out. One is an instance of a creative player creating for his team. The other is a player scoring a worldie. Yet the creative player gets the credit for the latter instead of the former

Hence why xA >>> assists
 

padr81

Full Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2015
Messages
10,082
Supports
Man City
Creative players are in a team to create goals are they not??
So not sure why assists is a rubbish stat, when it tells us how good a creative player has been.
Because Player A can pass a ball to Messi at the halfway line with 10 players in front of him sit on their ass and watch as he dribbles by them all and scores (+1 assist).
Player B can beat 3 men, square a ball across the box, taking the keeper out of the game to Werner 3 yards out middle of the goal and watch in awe as he hits the crossbar (no assist).

Player B has just done far better and created the far better chance.
I do think assists are an important stat but can see the logic for those who put xA above them.
The assist stat is far more reliant on the finisher.
 

harms

Shining Star of Paektu Mountain
Staff
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
25,538
Location
Moscow
Because its a myth that Pep wants his players to play like robots and not be creative. Its why Mahrez worked eventually too and why Foden works too.

Pep is fine with Grealish running at people and holding the ball as long as he doesn't do it in the wrong area's.
That's the key, Jack has to get much better at it, but has improved recently. Use the ball and move the ball quickly in the midfield areas but do what you want in the final third. Jacks problem was he was trying to do what he liked anywhere on the pitch and that won't fly.

City are super robotic from goal keeper to final third, making sure all the right pieces are in the right position to create overloads and get into spaces or recycle the ball. But once everyone is in the correct position and the ball is in the final third the attackers (including Jack) have free reign to do what they like. When the ball is elsewhere only KDB and Cancelo have that freedom.
I’m not saying that Pep doesn’t want creativity, but there’s a huge difference between Foden/De Bruyne and Mahrez/Grealish.
 

giorno

boob novice
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
22,126
Supports
Real Madrid
I’m not saying that Pep doesn’t want creativity, but there’s a huge difference between Foden/De Bruyne and Mahrez/Grealish.
Pep's City is kinda built to take advantage of players like Mahrez/Graelish "flying solo". Graelish just hasn't been good/effective enough to beat Foden, Gabriel J or Sterling - or indeed Mahrez, for the starting job...
 

MUW4Eva

Full Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
751
Because assist rely on other players to score. You can lay it on a plate only for your striker to miss an open goal tap in. Or you can make a 3 yard sideways pass 40 yards from goal to a teammate that blasts a thunderbastard in the top corner from 35 yards out. One is an instance of a creative player creating for his team. The other is a player scoring a worldie. Yet the creative player gets the credit for the latter instead of the former

Hence why xA >>> assists
Both rely on a player to score, an assist shows that a player has done something right, has passed to a teammate who has scored, that is kind of the whole point of a creative player to create chances for a teammate to score.

If you want to look at how many chances a person has created then fine, but the golden stat for a creative player, what they will look back on when their career is finished is their assit record.

How many people honestly look back on Scholes' xG or xA numbers??
 

Walrus

Oppressed White Male
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
10,782
Surprised not to see more mention of this yet, but for me a big factor of why City signed him is simply because he is English.

Romanticism aside, there are homegrown quotas for the PL and CL. United - even with our summer outgoings - should fairly easily be able to meet these. City on the other hand, have had to include 2-3 random academy youngsters on their bench all season.

Walker, Stones, Ake, Sterling, Foden, Grealish - these are their only HG players by my count (am I missing someone?) and only one of those is HG at their club (Foden). Walker is getting long in the tooth, and there are some question marks about Sterling and Stones’ long term futures.

Simply put, City needed, and still need to sign English players.
 

Classical Mechanic

Full Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
34,670
Location
xG Zombie Nation
Both rely on a player to score, an assist shows that a player has done something right, has passed to a teammate who has scored, that is kind of the whole point of a creative player to create chances for a teammate to score.

If you want to look at how many chances a person has created then fine, but the golden stat for a creative player, what they will look back on when their career is finished is their assit record.

How many people honestly look back on Scholes' xG or xA numbers??
One of my deepest regrets is that it wasn't possible to revel in Scholes's advanced passing stats during his career.

I'm only half joking....

Surprised not to see more mention of this yet, but for me a big factor of why City signed him is simply because he is English.

Romanticism aside, there are homegrown quotas for the PL and CL. United - even with our summer outgoings - should fairly easily be able to meet these. City on the other hand, have had to include 2-3 random academy youngsters on their bench all season.

Walker, Stones, Ake, Sterling, Foden, Grealish - these are their only HG players by my count (am I missing someone?) and only one of those is HG at their club (Foden). Walker is getting long in the tooth, and there are some question marks about Sterling and Stones’ long term futures.

Simply put, City needed, and still need to sign English players.
They registered Cole Palmer, Liam Delap and Samuel Adozie as well. There's no real need to spend £100m for a home grown quota. You could register two HG reserve keepers, squad players and a few kids. It will be a factor but not a big one.
 

giorno

boob novice
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
22,126
Supports
Real Madrid
Both rely on a player to score, an assist shows that a player has done something right, has passed to a teammate who has scored, that is kind of the whole point of a creative player to create chances for a teammate to score.

If you want to look at how many chances a person has created then fine, but the golden stat for a creative player, what they will look back on when their career is finished is their assit record.
The point of a creative player is creating chances. Whether those get converted into goals is out of his hands. Hence why a stat that tracks the quality of the chances created is a better indicator of a player's creativity than one that simply tracks the last pass given before a goal
 

kouroux

45k posts to finally achieve this tagline
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
86,802
Location
Djibouti (La terre des braves)
I don't think anyone will dispute he's been a disappointment. However, having a look beyond goals and assists at some underlying stats can help figure out what might be in stock for him next season (I think he'll definitely improve, but never become a true cog in the Pep machine).

xG and xA have only ruined football discussions because most people don't understand them, and use them weirdly. As with most stats, if they're interpreted correctly, they're absolutely fine.
Most people use them to discuss players without watching them. That's why and how they've ruined football discussions.
Footballers have been reduced to numbers
 

phelans shorts

Full Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
22,996
Location
Gaz. Is a Mewling Quim.
Most people use them to discuss players without watching them. That's why and how they've ruined football discussions.
Footballers have been reduced to numbers
I think that’s a bit overly simplistic, I’d agree more with the person you quoted. A lot of the stats are, in the correct context, very good and useful. The people you’re talking about are the ones who don’t understand the stats and just want to play top trumps which yeah, sadly has become an ever growing group, but it obviously isn’t the fault of the stat or even the people that generate the raw data that gets misused.
 

kouroux

45k posts to finally achieve this tagline
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
86,802
Location
Djibouti (La terre des braves)
So it has nothing to do with the stats, it's just the morons throwing them about.
Well replace stats with guns and you see how that logic doesn't work :wenger::lol:
In all seriousness, the stats have contributed to the emergence of a new breeed of pompous football fans who wanna reduce everything to numbers. Not for me this vibe
 

kouroux

45k posts to finally achieve this tagline
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
86,802
Location
Djibouti (La terre des braves)
I think that’s a bit overly simplistic, I’d agree more with the person you quoted. A lot of the stats are, in the correct context, very good and useful. The people you’re talking about are the ones who don’t understand the stats and just want to play top trumps which yeah, sadly has become an ever growing group, but it obviously isn’t the fault of the stat or even the people that generate the raw data that gets misused.
That's what I meant in all seriousness. Stats are harmless but these x stats annoy me in how they're used by many who don't get them
 

Sandikan

aka sex on the beach
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
44,891
Trying to remember a higher contrast between a player looking so brilliant in one system one season, to looking merely a functional cog in another team's system over 1 season.
 

marktan

Full Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
5,227
I'm surprised Pep doesn't play him more as an AM, I can see him slot into the role KDB players if the latter gets injured more often.

Grealish is a good player but he needs space, he's not a finisher type forward the way Sterling, Ferran and even Mahrez to an extent is. He can finish and he can beat players, but he really excels when he has space to beat players and thread passes through.
 

Karel Podolsky

Full Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
1,131
Location
Borneo Jungle
Supports
Ex Laziale
Surprised not to see more mention of this yet, but for me a big factor of why City signed him is simply because he is English.

Romanticism aside, there are homegrown quotas for the PL and CL. United - even with our summer outgoings - should fairly easily be able to meet these. City on the other hand, have had to include 2-3 random academy youngsters on their bench all season.

Walker, Stones, Ake, Sterling, Foden, Grealish - these are their only HG players by my count (am I missing someone?) and only one of those is HG at their club (Foden). Walker is getting long in the tooth, and there are some question marks about Sterling and Stones’ long term futures.

Simply put, City needed, and still need to sign English players.
I am thinking the same.
 

RedRonaldo

Full Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
15,379
Assist is a rubbish stat, xA is the much better metric for creative players

Graelish doesn't score enough, nor carry enough scoring threat for City, that's really what it comes down to
Even though there are other stats which tells a better story, wouldn’t go as far as to say assist is a rubbish stat. One could fluke a few assists once a while, but not a whole lot. To create certain amount of assists throughout a period, you still need to be creative enough, you can’t just get it all done by pure luck.

In the end it’s still an important stat recognised by many team sports.
 

giorno

boob novice
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
22,126
Supports
Real Madrid
Even though there are other stats which tells a better story, wouldn’t go as far as to say assist is a rubbish stat. One could fluke a few assists once a while, but not a whole lot. To create certain amount of assists throughout a period, you still need to be creative enough, you can’t just get it all done by pure luck.

In the end it’s still an important stat recognised by many team sports.
Yeah, i mean, obviously hyperbole