Graeme Souness insists he has no program against Jack Grealish after the Manchester City striker hit back at the pundit’s criticism.
During a recent talkSPORT appearance, Liverpool legend Souness described Grealish as a ‘good, not great’ player and told the 27-year-old he was taking too many touches.
Grealish, currently serving in England, was asked about Souness’ comments at a press conference and suggested the Scot had a problem with him.
“I don’t know what his problem is with me,” Grealish said with a laugh.
“I try not to read it, obviously it’s difficult when it’s on talkSPORT or Sky Sports and it’s all over the training ground sometimes.
“He was obviously a great player, I don’t know about what he says about me or what problem he has.
“I know my own abilities. I know before he said a lot about me not moving the ball faster.
“But you know, when I play for a manager like Pep Guardiola and he tells me to keep the ball as much as possible and have balls to take it everywhere, that’s what I will try to do. “
Most Read Football
Arteta branded ‘irresponsible’ and ‘self-indulgent’ for making Nwaneri debut aged 15
‘Arsenal fans will be embarrassed’ – Gabriel’s tweet condemned by host
Woods ‘baffled’ by Maddison’s absence from England ahead of 2022 World Cup
James wins right-back race and Bellingham start – England line up against Italy
‘I don’t know what his problem is’ – Grealish responds to Souness criticism
Scotland 3-0 Ukraine LIVE: Dykes and McGinn send Scots ahead after Patterson injury
Souness joined talkSPORT on Thursday to respond to Grealish’s comments and dismissed any suggestion of a vendetta against the England star.
The Liverpool icon even admitted he would love to spend an evening with Grealish.
However, Souness stood by his criticism and warned Grealish that he was ‘100%’ right about former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
Souness was a fierce critic of Pogba, who left Old Trafford on a free transfer in July after six disappointing years, and the Scot insists modern players like Grealish should be less ‘precious’.
Souness told talkSPORT: “I don’t have a problem with Grealish, I don’t have a problem with anyone.
“I think he’s a good player, technically he’s fantastic, but being a very good technician is only part of the game.
“I don’t believe we can criticize the modern player.
“When I was trying at Pogba it was because it was Manchester United and my relationship with Liverpool, and I think I was the first to call Pogba as an average player in our league, and I think that I was proven 100 per cent right at the end of the day.
“I’m sure if I met Jack, I would really like him. He’s a cheeky chappy and I’d love to spend an evening with him too, but I just feel like the modern gamer doesn’t take criticism very well.
Souness added: “Look, I get paid to give an opinion and I’ve been in the game for 50 years so I think I’m entitled to an opinion. Don’t be so precious.
“I don’t have a vendetta against anyone, it’s just my opinion right now on Grealish. And, really, Jack doesn’t have to listen to me, he doesn’t have to listen to anyone. The only opinion that should matter for Grealish is his manager.
“Jack has the ability to dribble that very few players have, and that kind of ability puts you on the edge of your seat, but you have to deliver at the end. It’s not just about dribble two players and then give the ball.
“When the game was explained to me at Liverpool – and how lucky was I to be a student of Jock Stein, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagen, Ronny Moran, Alex Ferguson? How lucky was I to learn at the feet of these footballers? You don’t get fat.
“That’s how the game was explained to me: if you’re in a team of 11 and you have two attackers, the other nine are just carriers, they’re there to serve the two guys who play up front, they’re the ones getting the goals to win you games and get points in the bag.
“The best way to serve them is to give them the ball as quickly and as accurately as possible, don’t linger on the ball unnecessarily, don’t be smart when you don’t need it. This is the game of football in a nutshell.
“So there is absolutely no program against Jack. I would love a night out with him, I’m not sure I could stay with him, but I would enjoy a night out with him.
“He has to choose who to listen to, and if he decides my opinion isn’t worth listening to, I can live with that. He just has to listen to his manager, he’s the only one he must impress.
“I explained my thinking on football, I don’t think it has changed anywhere in the world, and I can’t believe a coach anywhere is telling his players to keep the ball as long as he can.
“So if I worked with him, I would ask him to move the ball faster. I would explain the game to him like I just said.
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT fan zone.
In a huge covered room under the arches of Waterloo in London, we will bring you live screenings of every World Cup match.
There will be Q&A with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live shows and plenty of food and drink will be on offer too.
Come and have the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a free pint – with tickets for the England and Wales group stage matches on sale now HERE!