Jack Grealish says Harry Kane helped him mature while serving in England
Wednesday June 9, 2021 11:00 PM BST
Grealish, who runs Aston Villa, made his England debut in September last year and amassed seven caps during the season, his form putting him in contention for a starting place in the opener of the ‘Euro 2020 Sunday against Croatia.
The 25-year-old also credited Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, explaining that the duo’s professionalism showed him what it takes to take his game to the next level.
Asked about the impact of becoming his club’s captain, Grealish said: “I think it changed me on and off the pitch. I think it was always going to come – I was always going to grow a little more to a given moment.
“But I think the main thing is to be here for this season, you come here and you see Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane, and what they’re doing off the pitch.
“Obviously what they’re doing on it we can all see, but what they’re doing on the training ground and around the place and how they look after themselves, and you sit there and you think it’s no wonder they’ve had the careers that they’ve had.
“And that’s, I think, one of the main things that made me mature as a player, as a person and as a captain.”
When asked which individual – opponent or teammate – had the greatest influence on him, Grealish added: “I would probably say Harry Kane. I talk to him a lot. I talk to everyone in the locker room. that it’s good when you go back to England to get different opinions from people, to see what some people do, what some people don’t.
“But when you come back here, there’s no better person to watch than Harry Kane, to see how he takes care of himself and stuff like that.”
“I’ll take hits to create set pieces”
England have enjoyed great set-piece success reaching the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia, and the elusive Grealish is ready to play his part in creating a repeat of that performance.
The combination of his threat with the ball and his quick feet has led the attacking midfielder to regularly suffer fouls for club and country, but it’s a burden he’s ready to accept to help the team. .
“I had a few kicks last week in both games,” said Grealish. “But like I said after these games, if I do something to help the team, I will.
“You look around our team here and you see the set pieces here that we have – especially Trips [Kieran Trippier] – obviously it was unfortunate that Trent [Alexander-Arnold] came home – but there are still so many people who just have incredible set-piece ability here.
“So if I’m fouled or whatever, I’ll take the punches for the team. I don’t really mind.”
“The driving test caused nerves, but never the football”
Grealish insists nerves won’t strike on the Euro 2020 big stage like they did during his driving test.
When asked if he had suffered from nerves in the past, Grealish replied, “My driving test. I hated it.
“Do you know what? I was supposed to be at Villa after, actually we were getting ready for the FA Cup final and I still wasn’t driving.
“So I think it was Thursday and the final was on Saturday, and they wanted me to participate. I took my driving test and right away, as soon as I got out of the test center, I stalled the car and knew I had failed.
“So I just said to the guy after two minutes, ‘Have I failed buddy? He was like, ‘No, keep going,’ but I knew I had failed so I just got out of the car and went to practice. “
Grealish has never suffered from stage fright on the football field and attributes that to a greater confidence in his abilities with the ball than he had in his first driving lessons.
“Because I have confidence in my abilities,” he said when asked why it was different on the pitch. “Obviously, more than I was confident in my driving abilities.
“With football I just try to go out and play. Ultimately I’ve been doing it all my life. I’ve done it every day in training and I’ve done it when I do. was a child, playing in these games.
“So when I get on the pitch, play a big game, I just think it’s just a soccer game, which I’ve been doing all my life, so I take it in my stride, I don’t change nothing, I’m just going with the flow. “
Merson: England at a sustained pace can “blow up the teams” at the Euro
England can win Euro 2020 if they can bring their Premier League pace to the tournament, but their warm-up friendlies were a “waste of time,” Paul Merson said.
Second-seed England kick off their tournament against Croatia on Sunday and enter the tournament after two disappointing warm-up friendly wins against Austria and Romania.
The magical man, who represented England at Euro 1992 and the 1998 World Cup, said Air sports what they need to do to maintain their brilliant record in home tournaments, and put behind them their memories of a dismal outing in Iceland at the last European Championships five years ago.
Gary Neville’s Euro 2020 preview
Gary Neville tells the Sky Sports Football Euros podcast how he thinks England will perform at Euro 2020, how the transfer talks will affect Harry Kane and his advice for the tournament.
Ahead of the big kickoff on Friday when Turkey takes on Italy in Rome and England’s opener against Croatia two days later at Wembley, Neville spoke to the first edition of the podcast to give his opinion on England’s chances, her memories of a European Championship on home soil and much more.
Neville was the first guest on the Sky Sports Football Euros podcast, and many more will follow throughout the tournament. Stay on skysports.com to follow them all, as well as live blogs and reports from every Euro 2020 game from June 11 to July 11.
Listen to the Sky Sports Football Euros podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox
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