Guardiola challenges £100m star to improve or stay on the bench

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola talks to Jack Grealish

Guardiola challenges £100m star to improve or stay on the bench

Faruq Ibrahim 14:00 - 27.02.2024

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola warns Jack Grealish he has to improve his form.

Pep Guardiola has laid down the gauntlet for Jack Grealish, asserting that a return to Manchester City's starting XI hinges solely on his performance levels.

Despite being a key figure in City's historic Treble-winning season last year, Grealish's appearances have dwindled this term, sparking conversation about his role in Guardiola's plans.

Guardiola's Challenge to Grealish

In a candid revelation, Guardiola pointed out that Grealish's reduced playing time is not a consequence of any tactical shift or a change in managerial perspective but a reflection of the midfielder's form. 

"He is the same player, he has the same manager, and the way we play has not changed," Guardiola explained, per the BBC. "It's just the way he has performed. That's the difference."

Grealish's contribution this season has been notably limited in the Premier League, with only a fraction of his appearances coming in England's top-flight league. 

Jack Grealish, Man City attacker || Photo Credit: Imago
Jack Grealish, Man City attacker || Photo Credit: Imago

His last starting role in a league match was in December against Sheffield United, a game from which he was substituted early in the second half. This situation has led to speculation about his future in crucial matches, including the upcoming FA Cup tie.

High Standards and No Guarantees

Guardiola's philosophy leaves no room for easing players into form, emphasising the importance of immediate impact. 

"I cannot give players three or four games to get their rhythm," he stated, underscoring the competitive nature of his squad and the high standards expected at City. This approach has placed Grealish in a position where he must swiftly reclaim his best form to regain his spot on the team.

Despite the tough love, Guardiola acknowledges Grealish's unique qualities and the importance of his eventual resurgence for the team's success. "I said from day one, we need him," Guardiola affirmed, expressing hope for a strong finish to the season from the England international.

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