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Don’t be so precious’ – Graeme Souness responds to Man City star Jack Grealish using Paul Pogba comparison

Graeme Souness has told Jack Grealish to not be ‘so precious’ after the Manchester City player accused the pundit of having a problem with him.

After Souness said Grealish was ‘not a great player’ and said he should move the ball quicker, the City man responded by saying: “I don’t know what his problem is with me. He always says stuff about me! But I try not to read a lot of it.” Grealish went on to defend his progress since joining City, saying he would prefer to listen to the views of Pep Guardiola or his parents.

Now, typically, Souness has defended his own comments, telling Grealish not to be so precious, while also saying he would love to go on a night out with him. He also claimed that Grealish should listen to him, after he was right about saying former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was not a good fit in the Premier League.

Returning to talkSPORT, Souness said: “I don’t have a problem with him, I don’t have a problem with anyone. I think he’s a good player, technically he’s fantastic, but being a really good technician is only a part of the game. I don’t believe we can be critical of the modern player.

“When I was having a go at Pogba, it was [perceived] because it was Manchester United and my Liverpool connections, and I think I was the first one to call Pogba out as an average player in our league, and I think 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 like to have a night out with him as well, but I just feel the modern player doesn’t take criticism very well. Listen, I’m paid to offer an opinion and I’ve been in the game 50 years, so I think I’m entitled to have an opinion. Don’t be so precious.”

Explaining why he said Grealish should be moving the ball quicker – which is not what Guardiola has asked of him at City – Souness referred back to his own footballing education as a player. However, he accepted that Guardiola’s opinion is far more important than his.

“I don’t have a vendetta against anyone at all, this is just my opinion at this time about Grealish,” he said. “And, really, Jack doesn’t have to listen to me, he doesn’t have to listen to anyone. The only opinion that should count for Grealish is his manager.

“Jack has got the dribbling ability very few players have, and that kind of ability gets you on the edge of your seat, but you’ve got to deliver at the end of it. It’s not just about dribbling past two players and then giving the ball away.

“This was the way the game was explained to me: if you’re in a team of 11 and you’ve got two strikers, the other nine are just carriers, they are there to serve the two guys who play up front, they are the ones who get the goals to win you the games and get points in the bag.

“The best way to serve them is to get them the ball as quickly and accurately as possible, don’t dwell on the ball unnecessarily, don’t be clever when you don’t need to be. That’s the game of football in a nutshell.

“So there is absolutely no agenda against Jack. I’d love a night out with him, I’m not sure I could stay with him, but I’d enjoy a night out with him. He has to choose who to listen to, and if he decides my opinion is not worth listening to, I can live with that. He only has to listen to his manager, he’s the only one he has to impress.”

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