Five reasons why Jack Grealish could choose to defect to England
The FAI and the English FA are involved in a tug-of-war over Aston Villa star Jack Grealish. Here are five reasons why the teenager could choose to play for the Three Lions over the Boys in Green.
1. Martin O'Neill keeps saying the 19-year-old isn't ready
If you're good enough, you're old enough... it's an old sporting cliché but its very apt in this situation.
If teenager Jack Grealish can deal with 90,000 screaming fans at Wembley on FA Cup semi-final day, then why would anyone presume that he wouldn't be able to cope at international level.
"You’re talking about guys eight or nine years older will be nervous going into the Scotland game," O'Neill said.
Grealish looks unfazed by any ordeal he has faced so far. Robbie Keane made his debut at 17. He's good enough.
2. Martin O'Neill has failed to give him any game time
Goalkeepers Aaron McCarey and Ian Lawlor were brought on the US Tour last summer for the games against Portugal and Costa Rica.
They also played Turkey at the Aviva and Italy at Craven Cottage before crossing the Atlantic.
They were there to gain experience, but if that was the case, why wasn't Grealish brought along.
There have been ample opportunities for Grealish to be given an appearance. The Aviva roar he would have received could have swayed his mind.
3. O'Neill doubted Grealish when he didn't doubt himself
"This time last year, when I was having conversations with him and his father, I bet you he probably thought he was going to start between 15 and 22 games for Villa. And you know what? He hasn't.”
Confidence should be nurtured and encouraged but in the above statement, Martin O'Neill seems to be having a little dig at Grealish and the fact that he hadn't forced his way into the Villa starting XI.
Paul Lambert is gone and Tim Sherwood has placed huge faith in Grealish and has been rewarded in kind.
Ireland's current situation in Group D is looking pretty precarious with victory over Scotland a must.
Some would say that it is not the time to be risky, other would say that it's the perfect time.
4. The interest from FA is not a new phenomenon
There was an interesting comment from Kevin Grealish, Jack's dad, this morning: “He started playing for Ireland when he was 14 and just went with the flow."
It suggests that Grealish began playing with Ireland at a young age and the logical thing to do was to continue playing in green.
The FA have already tried to nab the Villa star on two occasions and their inquiries long predate Sunday's showing.
It must be flattering for the teenager.
5. Jack Grealish is English
Jack Grealish is born and raised in Birmingham... he is English.
The majority of his friends are bound to be English and you would expect that there may be some peer pressure applied to the youngster.
The Villa Park faithful love their former Irish internationals like Paul McGrath, Richard Dunne, Steve Staunton and Ray Houghton but you would presume that they would prefer to see their player in an England shirt.