EPL

Grealish's Man City success defined by trophies, not price tag – James

By Sports Desk April 08, 2022

Jack Grealish will prove a good signing for Manchester City, says David James, even if the former England goalkeeper remains unsure whether the playmaker has lived up to his record-breaking price tag.

Grealish became the most expensive British transfer of all time when he moved to the Premier League champions from Aston Villa for £100million last year.

While the 26-year-old has not been at the sparkling best he showed during his time at Villa, he has made 31 appearances across all competitions, starting 26 times.

Those appearances have yielded only four goals, with Pep Guardiola happy to utilise Grealish as a rotation option, with City still in with a chance of a domestic and European treble.

Though Grealish's price tag hangs over his head, ex-City man James believes helping deliver more silverware will make the transfer worthwhile.

"You can't ignore the money," James told Stats Perform. "But there wouldn't be a value or a price tag which would arguably justify either way whether it was a good or bad signing.

"Grealish has been heavily involved in Manchester City's games this season. [They are] top of the league, [in the] quarter-finals of the Champions League and semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"Jack Grealish has been involved in that. He's part of the team which has been very successful at the moment. It's a good signing."

Grealish directly contributed to 16 Premier League goals last season at Villa (six goals, 10 assists), but that figure stands at just four so far this term (two goals, two assists).

He crafted 81 chances in total last season in the top flight, at an average of 3.3 per 90 minutes. That has dropped to 43 so far this season (2.5 per 90).

But James believes the switch has shown new shades to Grealish's game, such as having to become more of a team player in a squad packed with stars.

"The thing that I like more about Jack is that there's a different side to his game than what he had [at] Aston Villa," he added.

"As influential as he was, it was almost like they needed Jack to make Aston Villa work. [City] don't need in the same sense. They don't need Jack at Manchester City for Man City to work.

"He has to be part of the bigger team, which I think he's done successfully. I think he's been a successful signing.

"If City are to win the league, [if] they are to win the Champions League [and if they are] to win the FA Cup, then a big part of that will be Jack Grealish being in the club."

Related items

  • Wimbledon: Djokovic hoping for Nadal clash as he seeks revenge for Roland Garros defeat Wimbledon: Djokovic hoping for Nadal clash as he seeks revenge for Roland Garros defeat

    Novak Djokovic would be delighted by the prospect of facing Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final, as he targets revenge for his French Open loss to the Spaniard.

    Nadal remains on course for a calendar Grand Slam after following up January's Australian Open victory with his 14th French Open title earlier this month, having overcome Djokovic in a quarter-final classic on the clay in Paris.

    The Spaniard's Roland Garros triumph moved him two clear of Djokovic's tally of 20 grand slam titles, while his last-eight win over the Serbian was his 29th in the pair's head-to-head rivalry (Djokovic has 30 wins).

    With 59 career meetings, the duo have met one another more often than any other men's pairing in the Open Era, and they could be set for a final showdown at Wimbledon after landing on opposite sides of the draw.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, defending Wimbledon champion Djokovic said he would relish such a contest and insisted Nadal, who has not triumphed on the grass in London since 2010, is among the favourites to take home the title.

    "If we get to face each other it means we're both in the finals, which I think we both want," Djokovic said.

    "It's a very long way [away], but of course you have to put him as one of the favourites, even though he hasn't played at Wimbledon for the last three years [including the cancelled 2020 edition], I think.

    "But still, he's Nadal, he has achieved what he has achieved throughout his career and also this year, of course, which gives you a lot of confidence in his case.

    "I'm sure there's going to be a lot of great matches ahead for both of us, and if we get to face [each other] in the final… I'd love to face him in the final and get revenge for Paris!"

    Nadal has beaten Djokovic in 11 of the duo's 18 grand slam meetings, although the Serbian holds a 2-1 advantage over their three Wimbledon contests, triumphing in the 2011 final and the 2018 semi-finals.

    Djokovic begins his Wimbledon campaign by facing Kwon Soon-woo on Centre Court on Monday, with Nadal taking on Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo the following day.

  • Stanton homer ends Yankees' historic no-hit streak against Astros Stanton homer ends Yankees' historic no-hit streak against Astros

    This is shaping up to be a season to remember for the New York Yankees, but they made history for all the wrong reasons on Sunday.

    The Yankees, who boast the best record in the major leagues in 2022, had been held to a combined no-hitter by the Houston Astros in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium.

    But rather than come out firing in the teams' next meeting the following day, the Yankees threatened to suffer the ignominy of a stunning second consecutive no-no.

    Jose Urquidy frustrated the home team for 6.1 innings before Giancarlo Stanton finally made good contact and homered 436 feet to center field.

    That was the Yankees' first hit since the eighth inning of Friday's 3-1 home loss to the Astros, a streak of 52 consecutive at-bats – the longest run by a batting team without a hit since at least 1974.

    It also tied the record for the most at-bats without a pitching team allowing a hit over the same period.

    The Astros matched the feats of the 2012 Los Angeles Angels against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays and the 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.

    Houston own the only two no-hitters against the Yankees this century, with Saturday's hitless game following a 2003 no-no at Yankee Stadium.

  • 'I've never experienced anything like it' – Leach praises Stokes and McCullum for restoring belief 'I've never experienced anything like it' – Leach praises Stokes and McCullum for restoring belief

    Jack Leach has praised captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum for their leadership and says he has "never experience anything" like playing in this England Test side. 

    The Somerset spinner took 5-66 on day four of England's fourth Test against New Zealand to claim his first 10-wicket haul in the format.

    Leach is the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in a Test since Moeen Ali in 2017.

    Not since Derek Underwood against Pakistan at Lord's in 1974 had an England spinner claimed two five-fors in a home Test.

    Stokes and McCullum have put their faith in Leach and been rewarded; he is thriving under the new leadership, with England on course for a clean sweep in their three-match series against the Black Caps.

    "[Under Stokes] it's really attacking, and I am really enjoying bowling attackingly [sic]," Leach told Sky Sports.

    "Stokesy's confidence in his decisions but also in us as players – I have never experienced anything like it.

    "It is very special to be a part of, and that is credit to Stokesy and Baz [McCullum] for setting that up.

    "You realise teams I have played in, the way I have thought, a lot of decisions are made around negativity.

    "A lot of four or five-day games you give up on the win quite early, but now it feels like you are always pushing for that win, so there is never really too bad a situation.

    "My biggest thing is having belief in myself, and that is what Ben and Baz have helped me with."

    Leach's latest impressive showing helped England to bowl out their opponents for 326 in their second innings, leaving the hosts requiring 296 runs for victory in Yorkshire.

    Continuing their attacking approach under Stokes and McCullum, England will enter the final day on 183-2 thanks to strong work by Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Joe Root (55 no).

    Zak Crawley (25) and Alex Lees (nine) fell early on in the chase, but Pope and Root's unbeaten 132-run stand means England now require just 113 runs with eight wickets in hand.

    Should England complete the job on Monday, they will become the first team in Test history to successfully chase a target of at least 250 three times in a single series.

    But Tom Blundell (88 no), who became the highest-scoring visiting wicketkeeper in a Test series in England, vowed that New Zealand will give their all to avoid a whitewash.

    "This team has been known to fight, and we've got to come out there and do that tomorrow," he said. "You put a couple of wickets on there and you just never know.

    "Obviously you've got two guys out there in good form, but if we get one of those, who knows?

    "The wicket is deteriorating. A little bit of variable bounce, obviously with the spin as well. It's quite hard to drive with that older ball. 

    "It looks like it's going to deteriorate even more, and hopefully we can utilise that tomorrow."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.