More often than not, our Player of the Weekend title goes to a player who has displayed some supreme footballing ability and for the most part, an incredible strike, a hat-trick, a succession of saves or a vital goalline clearance is enough to take the accolade.
However, this weekend, one player displayed far more than just footballing talent when he was faced with the most unlikely and shocking of situations. Jack Grealish, the recently-named captain of his boyhood team, Aston Villa, has come through the ranks under a lot of attention. Viral videos on teenage drinking, a debate around whether he would play for England and Ireland and the general pressure of being a footballing prodigy, has meant that he has more tabloid attention than most in the English Championship.
But this weekend, he showed what a player and what a man he is. Early on in a match within the proverbial lion’s den that is Birmingham City’s St. Andrews on derby day, a fan of the home side entered the pitch and attacked Aston Villa’s number 10 from behind. It was bizarre, shameful and ugly. Eventually, the supporter was ushered out of the ground and arrested but, the less said about the attention-seeking bloke the better.
You could not write it! 😲
After being punched by a fan in the first half, Jack Grealish opens the scoring for Aston Villa against Birmingham! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/EiBedIL2U1
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) March 10, 2019
Instead, concentrate your attention on the performance of Jack Grealish. On the back of the most distracting and unnerving of in-game antics, the Villa skipper led by example, spurred on by the drama and boos that rung from the stands. And, in the 66th minute of the match, he ceased his moment, scoring a precise finish to give his beloved Aston Villa the lead – a goal which would prove to be the winner.
After the game, Grealish described the events as ‘the best day of my life,’ in the thickest of Birmingham accents, concluding what was the story of the weekend. For showing his class, professionalism and temperament, on top of settling the biggest game in Aston Villa’s season, Jack Grealish is our Player of the Weekend.