Martin O’Neill claims that counterpart Roy Hodgson pressuring Jack Grealish

  • Posted on: 30 September 2015

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill claims that his England counterpart Roy Hodgson is putting unfair pressure on Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish over choosing to play for England rather than Ireland.

Grealish is seen as yet another hot prospect in British football, but he is eligible to play for either England or Ireland. So far, he has featured in all of the games at youth level for the Ireland team. Naturally, his senior call-up should also be with the Ireland senior team, but Fifa rules allow the player to switch between nationalities at the time of being called up for the senior squad.

Even though Grealish has not performed exceptionally well beyond one season, the talent is clear to be seen. There are issues regarding the character of the player, but the top managers believe that it is something that will become sorted over time. Hodgson has spoken in length about the quality ofGrealish, who will be an apt presence in the midfield of the England national team particularly given that Jack Wilshere is becoming heavily injury prone. Wilshere was seen as the future replacement for Steven Gerrard, but it looks like the national team will have to look elsewhere for their starlet.

“We’ve spoken to him and what we’ve said, quite simply, is that we think he is a very talented footballer.We think he could have a very good international career and we would be more than happy if he chose that career to be England. I’m still hoping that’s what he will do but at the same time because of his family [grandparents] he has the opportunity to play for Ireland,” said Hodgson. “That’s encouraging, that’s encouraging. Roy’s not going to hang around. Well done Roy, putting the pressure on,” said O’Neill in a sarcastic manner.