Aston Villa are a “one-man” team and Sunday’s defeat proved they are destined to fail without Jack Grealish in the starting XI.
That is according to ex-Birmingham striker Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after John McGinn seemed to hint at Villa’s frustration at being accused of overreliance on the England star.
Speaking to the media after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City, the 26-year-old said: “Any team in the league is going to miss Jack. But we are more than capable of putting in better performances than we did without him.”
Grealish could be out for a month with an unspecified injury, as per BBC Sport, and so 8th place Villa may need to adapt if they are to keep their European dream alive.
But Phillips isn’t sure they are up to the task, citing Sunday’s defeat as case in point.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “It is annoying for them that people keep saying that they are a one-man team. But I think it kind of showed a little bit at the weekend that they are.
“They certainly missed him because they couldn’t get out at times. It just shows how important he is. He travels with the ball, he keeps it, he draws fouls. He occupies two of the opposing team most of the time, so you can outnumber them in other areas.
“So it did show at the weekend that he’s so important to them. He’s their main man.
“Of course, John’s gonna come out and say that and he’s right in saying it. It’s kind of a way of saying: ‘When Jack’s not playing, let’s all step up to the plate and perform, let’s not rely on him.'”
Grealish has been in scintillating form this season, scoring seven goals and registering 12 assists in 27 matches across all competitions.
With the European Championship on the horizon, he will be hoping to regain full fitness and play his way into England’s starting XI.