As I was looking through my site for the latest excuses, something I could write a book about alone, I was interested in reading what probably, and definitely in my eyes, the country’s most improved performer Calvin-Lewin had to say about Jack Grealish: If I could watch any player, it would be Grealish’ – Calvert-Lewin says England team-mate is ‘operating on a different level’ The Everton striker was wowed by the Aston Villa star’s unique talents during the October international break Dominic Calvert-Lewin has described Jack Grealish as his favourite player to watch, while claiming his England team-mate is “operating on a different level” to his peers.Calvert-Lewin was handed his first international call up in October after an impressive start to the season at Everton, and scored on his debut to help England secure a 3-0 friendly win over Wales. The striker produced a smart headed finish after being teed up perfectly by Grealish, who made a huge impression on him during the Three Lions camp.Asked who stood out most during his first experience with the England squad, Calvert-Lewin had no hesitation in picking the Aston Villa star as he told the Sky Sports Super Six podcast: “My favourite player was Jack Grealish; top man! “He is a naturally gifted footballer and for me, he is a joy to watch. If I could watch any player play, it would be him.
He can do everything – he is exciting and tries to make things happen. I see him up close in training – because he is a relaxed guy, as soon as he is on the training pitch and the ball comes out, he is operating on a different level. For me to play with him as a centre-forward, they are the type of guys you want to play with because he is making things happen and he set my debut goal up. It was only a matter of time until he got his chance, he just had to stay consistent and keep doing what he was doing. When he played I thought he played really well.”Jack Grealish England 2020-21: How has Grealish performed for Villa this season? Grealish inspired Villa’s successful Premier League survival bid in 2020-21, and has taken his game to even greater heights this season under Dean Smith. The 25-year-old has contributed seven goals and 12 assists to the Lions’ cause across 23 games to date, helping them emerge as surprise contenders for Europa League qualification.His performances have reportedly attracted attention from a number of top clubs, including Manchester City and Manchester United, but his progress was curtailed by injury last month.I must come in here as you will know, unless you’ve put the book down as a no-no, the mention of top clubs, had Frank Lampard had gone on an all out assault to sign Jack he’d still be at Stamford Bridge, no doubt, I said it then and repeat it, Jack Grealish should have had Chelsea Football team built around him, and although he plays in a wider position at Villa that is exactly what Dean Smith has done at Villa. By giving him the captain’s armband for responsibility, he then leads the team out like King Kong, a great big Ape with his socks rolled down. Not that his touch is like an Ape or Gorilla but he is as frightening for those opposing defenders when he gets them on the edge of the box. I remember a comment Waddington made about myself, when saying “Alan Hudson reminds me of Stan in some ways, when he gets the ball right on the edge of their box and invites the tackle,” and that is what the game is all about, whenever a wide player, full-back even, gets a ball today and it’s not on to cross for anybody, I shout ‘take it in the box’ and make the defender make the decision for you, simple. You know what you’re doing but he doesn’t because they panic, and when you see all these penalties given by stupid tackles it’s because most of the time they tackle the same in the box as they do on the halfway line, which is utterly ridiculous.
This is a big part of Jack’s game, if you see him get it out wide you see his mind working as he edges towards that white line where defenders panic. Have Grealish and Calvert-Lewin made the latest England squad? Grealish has only just started training again after missing a month of action due to a lower leg problem, and Gareth Southgate ultimately decided not to risk him for England’s first set of 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Calvert-Lewin was included in Southgate’s final shortlist, though, with the Toffees forward in line to feature during a Group I opener against San Marino on Thursday. The 24-year-old will also be available for selection against Albania and Poland before he is due to head back to Goodison Park at the start of April.I am glad Jack missed San Marino because he’d be on a “hiding to nothing” like I played against Cyprus in a 5-0 win in 1975 (European Championships) which was a match that you, as a creative midfield player, could not win, it was all about bombarding their goal, hence Supermac getting five. When I perform my ‘Evenings With’ I tell the story of my Cyprus experience and the paying customer really doesn’t know whether to believe me or not – as my mate Johnny Boyle thinks I make things up, but he’s losing it himself. Only jesting John, you know I love you as I do the rest of our Seventies ‘unsung heroes’: Marvin Hinton, Tommy Baldwin and John Dempsey the always unmentioned.We were battering this poor team, which much reminded me of that Chelsea beating this Luxemburg team by a record European score, when Osgood broke another record. I had hardly seen the ball as it was flying into their box at every given opportunity – bad management, even winning 5-0 – when a player went down injured. As I stood over this player the young man marking me stood as close as he possibly could, which reminded me of being on the London Underground at 5pm. I turned to him and asked what he was doing? He replied that he was marking me and that was his job. I said, ‘There’s a 100,000 people watching why don’t you show them what you can do?’ He added, “But you’re my favourite player and I’m not leaving your side.” I then said, ‘Where the Hell are you from you don’t sound Cypriot?” He told me he worked in a restaurant down North End Road, which is a quarter-of-a-mile from the Bridge. I thought he was winding me up, and then thought of the millions of viewers wondering – had it been Sky today, imagine the camera closing in our conversation – and were talking about him being a waiter in Fulham.
His final words as the injured player got to his feet were, “Alan, come down anytime you want, my treat,” and in all fairness had I still been playing at Chelsea I would have but I was living in the Potteries. I would have loved to have gone down with my mates and had a laugh with this young man, a very pleasant one at that. But the irony of this a few minutes from the end a ball dropped at the edge of the box and I should have scored, it was perfect for me, a volley from twenty yards, the irony being as it sailed over the bar I looked around and it was the only time he left my side. I say I wished I had visited him just as I always say Chelsea should have invited that fantastic team from Luxemburg back to Chelsea and had a Dinner for both sets of players, mainly theirs, as they took a 23-0 beating with such dignity almost proud to be there, and when I looked them up I think there were three or four brothers of all trades, something I love about our game, whereas Chelsea Football Club probably never gave it another thought. Had I been wealthy later in my years I would have flown to Luxemburg and put on a Dinner for all of them as they are the heroes, those who come fight and walk away with pride having played at Stamford Bridge, wonderful, that’s what we’re here for.