Graeme Souness hits back at 'precious' Jack Grealish and denies vendetta

Three-time European Cup winner believes modern players struggle with criticism, which he says they should not listen to

Graeme Souness has stood by his criticism of Jack Grealish Credit: SKY SPORTS

Graeme Souness has accused Jack Grealish of being “precious” and has denied having a "vendetta" against the Manchester City and England player.

Yesterday Grealish hit back at the former Liverpool midfielder for his recent criticism, and expressed his belief that Souness has a problem with him.

The 27-year-old’s comments came after Souness claimed the former Aston Villa player “was not a quick learner”. Speaking this week, Grealish said: “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. It is difficult when he’s on Sky Sports and it’s everywhere around the training ground. 

“Listen, he was obviously a great player and won a lot, but I don’t know what it is with what he says about me or what problem he’s got. I know my own ability. I know before that he used to say a lot of stuff about me not moving the ball quicker, but when I’m playing for a manager like Pep Guardiola and he’s telling me to keep the ball as much as I can and have balls to take everywhere, that’s what I’ll try and do.” 

‘I'd like to have a night out with Jack’

Souness responded on Thursday, using his appearance on Talksport to insist that he had done enough in the game, as a player, manager and pundit, to be able to express an opinion and railing against a new generation of footballers who cannot take or listen to criticism.

The former Liverpool captain also pointed out that he had been the first to question Paul Pogba’s impact at Manchester United

“I don't have a problem with him, I don't have a problem with anyone,” Souness said. “I don't have a problem with Jack at all. I think Jack is a good player, technically he's fantastic. I don't believe we can be critical of the modern player. 

“When I was having a go at Paul Pogba, it was because it was Man United and I think I was the first one to call Pogba out as being an average player in our league. I think I was proved 100 per cent right at the end of the day. 

“I’m sure if I met Jack, I'd really like Jack. I think he's a cheeky chappy. I'd like to have a night out with him as well! But I just think the modern player doesn't take criticism very well. I think Jack, you'll listen to who you want to listen to. 

"I'm on Talksport with you guys, which I'm loving. I have a column with the Daily Mail, in which I get a chance to express my opinion and I'm on Sky. I've had over 50 years in the game, I think I'm entitled to an opinion. 

“I just feel... don't be so precious! I don't have a vendetta against anyone at all. It's my opinion at this time on Jack Grealish. Really Jack doesn't have to listen to me, he doesn't have to listen to anyone. The only opinion that counts for Jack Grealish should be the manager's.”