Jack Grealish is never far from the top of the agenda during any international break now.
When he wasn’t in the squad, there were no shortage of people asking why not.
Now he’s in the Three Lions picture, the conversation is dominated by concerns over whether he’s going to play enough of a part.
On the Pitch to Post podcast (19 mins), Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp had his say on Grealish’s qualities and why Gareth Southgate doesn’t like being asked about him.
“Why not give Grealish that opportunity?” asked Redknapp. “He’s on red hot form. You can’t be dictated by what the fans want but… we’re not in a position to say we don’t need Jack Grealish.
“It’s obviously a frustration. You can see (Southgate) doesn’t like talking about him, which I get – I’d be the same.
“Gareth won’t get a lot of time with his players and it’s just important you say to Grealish, when we haven’t got the ball, this is what I want from you. You have to weigh up what you get.”
The strength of feeling on both sides of the argument seems to grow with every international break.
Southgate’s pivot towards a cautious 3-4-3 system with two holding midfield players has led to accusations that he is a defensive manager and doesn’t trust the maverick talents of Grealish.
He can be bold – his World Cup 3-5-2 contained two playmakers and flying wing-backs – but there’s obviously something more he wants to see from Grealish.
It’s becoming harder and harder to figure out what it is, now Grealish is in flying form and has upped his goal output in 2020/21.
Hopefully, the situation is resolved ahead of Euro 2021, because it won’t benefit anybody if there’s still huge tension between large swathes of England fans and the manager surrounding one player.
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