Jack Grealish believes Manchester City can win the treble this season but the forward says he needs to improve his personal goal and assist tally given his British record £100m transfer fee.
City lead the Premier League after 17 games, having won their past seven league matches. Only Manchester United – in 1999 – have claimed a treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. But before Sunday’s trip to Newcastle, Grealish did not duck the question, saying: “I think so,” when asked if City could win it all.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on the team [but] we have so much talent here and so many good players,” Grealish said. “I really think that we could go all the way in a few competitions this year. That is what I have come here for, to win trophies, so hopefully come the end of the season I will have a few medals around my neck.”
Grealish’s goal in Tuesday’s 7-0 rout of Leeds at the Etihad Stadium was only his third for City since he moved from Aston Villa in August and the 26-year-old also has three assists in his 20 games in all competitions. Such metrics matter as they can be a measure of player’s impact, particularly when costing a high fee. “I think they are important because that is what people look at – such as how many goal involvements us attackers have,” said Grealish. “Especially when you come to a club with the price tag that I did. If you don’t get some [goals and assists] for a few games, then everyone starts to talk.
“They are important but there will be times where you are playing well and the goals and assists just aren’t coming. That is what I have felt like recently. In the Watford game the other day I could have scored about four or five and I came off the pitch with nothing. Even in the Leeds game, we scored seven goals as well and I only got one. I am just trying to keep improving all of the time and I know for a fact that the longer I am here the more I will improve.”
While Grealish is adamant his style remains he admits a need to dribble more. “I wouldn’t say I have changed, and I don’t want to change the way I have played my whole career,” he said. “That dribbling stat [that he was doing it less this season] is something I need to pick up on again and start doing because that is something I was doing the most when I was at Villa last year. But I don’t think you can read too much into stats like that. The main ones are the goals and the assists. They are the ones I am trying to work on the most.”
Of that header against Leeds, his first such goal in the Premier League, Grealish said: “I am working on [scoring goals] and we were actually doing it the day before in training at the end. Just crossing and finishing. I surprised myself with a few [headers] and I scored a few.
“I missed one at Watford. The ball had come in from a corner, I was free on my own in the middle of the box, but it went straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. To get myself on the scoresheet and to do it with a header, which I don’t do a lot of, it was perfect. It is something I feel like I can keep working with, especially being a winger and the way we play here as there are so many crosses that come into the box.”