Is Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish Really Out of Control?

Jack Grealish (via Flikr Creative Commons).
Jack Grealish (via Flikr Creative Commons). /

Aston Villa occupies the Premier League table basement and starlet Jack Grealish keeps making headlines for what he does in the club, and not on the field. Is young Grealish out of control or just having a good time?

Aston Villa starlet Jack Grealish has once again made the headlines for the wrong reasons. Per the Irish Independent, new videos have surfaced of Grealish enjoying an “alcohol fueled” night out in Manchester after Villa’s disappointing 4-0 loss to Everton. Are these the actions of a young man with a problem or just simply, a normal young man?

In the interest of fairness it must be made clear, this is not Grealish’s first youthful mistake in the last 12 months. He’s already had a photo published of him passed out on the street on one occasion earlier this season, and in 2014 a photograph surfaced of him inhaling nitrous oxide. Grealish is at the very least, a lad who likes to have a night out on the town.

Manager Remy Garde and Villa fans are worried that he’s more than just an aspiring socialite who likes to have a good time out with his friends. They’ve invested a great deal of money and energy into the supremely talented Grealish and have every right to question whether that investment is being jeopardized by his behavior. Even before the latest incident, Garde criticized his lack of contribution on the pitch. He clearly isn’t happy with the return on Villa’s investment to date.

More from Playing for 90

In the past, I’ve been defensive of Grealish and his transgressions. After all, I look back on what I did when I was 20-years old and thank God that camera phones weren’t in existence. I don’t go quite so far as to pull the “boys will be boys” mantra out for the Villa youngster, but I am inclined to give him a fair amount of leeway. My youthful transgressions would likely have been amplified considerably if I had the money and fame that Grealish enjoys.

Now I’m beginning to be genuinely concerned about Grealish and his behavior. It isn’t any singular mistake that bothers me, it’s the continued pattern of poor choices. I’d like to see him learn from his mistakes and adjust his behavior. Right now all he seems to be doing is repeating the same mistakes over and over. This is the sign of a player with a real problem other than just being young and naive.

I don’t know Grealish personally so it’s impossible for me to say what that problem is. Hopefully, it’s just simple immaturity and it’s a pattern of behavior he can grow out of in the near future. Certainly there are more nefarious possibilities, but I don’t think it’s fair for me to speculate on them without direct knowledge of the player.

It’s a sad day when I have to agree with Grealish’s former manager Tim Sherwood, but I must concur that the young Villa player must realize he doesn’t get to live a normal life. Too whom much is given, much is expected and Grealish has been given talent, fame and money. He must steward those gifts in a smarter way. I’m not saying he can’t have a good time with his friends, but perhaps he’d be wise to stay out of the public eye while doing so.

Jack Grealish has a ton of football ability and hopefully he can harness it fully in the years to come. It’s time for him to come of age and own his behavior off the field though. If he doesn’t do that soon, he might join a long list of talented, young athletes who threw away their gifts due to off the field issues.