A manager’s dream.
Going into Euro 2020, Jack Grealish’s inclusion was always going to be one of the most interesting narratives to watch develop as the games went on.
Many England fans felt as though he was going to be the team’s star man, while others wondered whether Gareth Southgate would even start him at all.
Throughout the tournament, he has started only one game, but has made a few key appearances off the bench, particularly helping England unlock a resolute German defence that didn’t look like it was going to crack.
And he was brought on to do the same in the semi-final against Denmark.
Jack Grealish substitution
Grealish didn’t have the same effect he did against Germany, but he did have some nice touches and was on the pitch when England won the penalty that ended up winning the game.
Almost immediately after the goal went in, Grealish was taken off, with Southgate bringing right-back Kieran Trippier on to help shore up the defence.
According to The Independent, Southgate went over to Grealish to explain why he had been taken off shortly after coming on, when the Aston Villa talisman replied: “Gaffer, I’m not bothered. We’re in the final!”
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) July 7, 2021
Many players could have gotten the hump and felt they were being embarrassed on the biggest stage of all, but Grealish was happy to do his best to help his team get to the final.
Roy Keane on Jack Grealish substitution
Speaking after the game, Roy Keane praised Southgate for taking Grealish off, saying being able to make the “nasty” decision every now and again is important for a manager.
He said: “He is a nice guy, but you have to be nasty to work at this level, so it was no surprise when Gareth made that decision.
“Jack will have to look at the bigger picture. It’s all about the team getting to the final. There’s no doubt that Gareth is nasty enough to make those decisions.”