Comparing Grealish to Gazza is a dangerous game – and its the classic English mentality

When a bright young English talent comes through and hits the headlines there always seems to be a button that fans hit.

It’s almost like a knee jerk among fans and sections of the media that have to hype up the player to unbearable levels.

We’ve seen it happen time and time again. We’ve seen players thrive under it, those who have exceptional talent such as Wayne Rooney,

But more often than not we’ve seen players overhyped way, way to early before they’ve achieved anything in the game, before ultimately falling away.

We’re the creators of our own downfall. England produces top, top talent but aside from the last World Cup, we’ve under achieved for years after years.

Even in the Sven years with the so called ‘golden era’, we should have really done better than consistent quarter-finals.

Now we’ve got an exciting current crop coming through, that a manager like Gareth Southgate will hand opportunities to.

Like his management style or not, he will give these young lads a chance.

In recent internationals he has handed that chance to Jack Grealish, who has been in sparkling form at club level.

He has emulated that in an England shirt, and was probably the only bright spark in a disappointing defeat to Belgium last night.

But immediately after the game, and following on from some impressive international displays, social media was littered with comments comparing the young playmaker to Gazza.

I could scarcely believe what I was reading.

He’s a talented player, something I’ve certainly acknowledged in the last couple of seasons after previously being one of his doubters.

But to put him up there with Gazza is ridiculous. Not because he doesn’t have the talent to get to that level.

That’s something that is up for discussion. He may be able to get to that level, he may not be able to.

However my point is, is that putting him in that bracket and on a pedestal with a name like Gazza is another example of a player being set up to fail.

The fickleness of football will mean four or five average performances in an England shirt will lead to people questioning him.

That’s the way the game is now.

Myself more than anyone knows you should never listen to the majority of what is said on social media, certainly comments like this.

But I hope the big hype around Grealish and comparing him to Gazza doesn’t seep into the minds of pundits too soon.

Praise him and compliment him, but let him go about his work and become an exciting player for many years to come without comparing him to established greats.

Picture – @JackGrealish

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