MX23RW : Friday, July 23 21:33:44| >> :600:123983:123983:

Martin Keown: 'Jack Grealish will thrive on England expectation'

Martin Keown: 'Jack Grealish will thrive on England expectation'
© Reuters
The Aston Villa captain shone in England's two warm-up wins but has been restricted to a substitute appearance in Friday's draw with Scotland.

Jack Grealish has been backed by former England defender Martin Keown to thrive under the weight of expectation – if he gets his chance at Euro 2020.

The Aston Villa captain shone in England's two warm-up wins but has been restricted to a substitute appearance in Friday's draw with Scotland thus far in the finals.

He has become a firm favourite among Three Lions supporters and his name was chanted around Wembley before he came off the bench in the 63rd minute.

Given the lack of creativity across their opening two games, Grealish could be in line for a first start when England close their Group D fixtures against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night knowing victory will see them advance in top spot.

If he does get the nod from manager Gareth Southgate, all eyes will be on the 25-year-old – but Keown thinks that is just what Grealish would want.

"I don't think that is a problem for Jack Grealish, I think he thrives on that attention," Keown told the PA news agency.

"The camera is constantly on him and he knows that, he has been outstanding for Aston Villa and has still only played eight games for England.

Grealish has impressed on his recent England outings.
Grealish has impressed on his recent England outings. (Carl Recine/PA)

"It is really the responsibility of the coaches as to where they put him when he is on the pitch, I think he could have come on more central against Scotland.

"It (starting Grealish) is an option and must be something Gareth is now seriously considering, that Grealish starts and he tinkers and makes a change in the midfield.

"Mason Mount could play deeper in midfield but then you have to decide who you leave out but Grealish must surely be really close to coming into the thinking."

Keown – speaking as an ambassador for McDonald's Fun Football programme – also wants to see Grealish and Phil Foden partnered on the pitch.

Southgate opted to replace Foden with Grealish against Scotland but Keown thinks the pair could work well in tandem.

Martin Keown takes part in the McDonald's fun football session at Oxford City Football Club.
Martin Keown takes part in the McDonald's fun football session at Oxford City Football Club. (Paul Currie)

"I was really surprised to see Foden come off when he did, there was a clamour to get Grealish on but I didn't really see why we took Foden off," he said.

"Kalvin Phillips was quite magnificent in the first game but he had a quiet game and everything was very safe so it was an opportunity to move Mount back into midfield and bring Grealish on.

"It would have been as good an opportunity as ever to see that group of players together and we were denied that with the change that was made."

Starting Grealish would also give Southgate another option in an attempt to get more service to Harry Kane.

The England skipper has yet to have a shot on target in the tournament and has been on the periphery of both games.

Southgate has said Kane will start against the Czech Republic despite his recent toils, with Keown keen to see the Tottenham striker revert back to a more traditional centre-forward role.

"We are finding it difficult to get Harry Kane into the game, he needs to stay higher and more central and it isn't working at the moment," he added.

"I think if I was a defender seeing him going ever deeper, you're delighted.

Harry Kane has been taken off in both England games at Euro 2020.
Harry Kane has been taken off in both England games at Euro 2020. (Mike Egerton/PA)

"The further away from goal the better, you want him as far away from the goal as possible when you are playing against him.

"We know that Kane has adapted his game this season and that shows with the assists he got at Tottenham but he got into the habit of dropping deep and creating goals for Son.

"But for his country he needs to stay more central, higher up the pitch, and then we need to get the support in and around him."

:: Arsenal and England legend Martin Keown is calling on families to sign up for McDonald's free Fun Football sessions, which will get thousands of children playing football this summer. To find a local session go to: mcdonalds.co.uk/football

ID:452184: cacheID:452184:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:10055:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
England's Jude Bellingham celebrates after the match on June 13, 2021
Read Next:
Reece James: 'I look after Jude Bellingham'
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
AfghanistanAfghanistan0000
Albania national flagAlbania0000
AlgeriaAlgeria 0000
American Samoa flagAmerican Samoa0000
Andorra flagAndorra0000
Great BritainGreat Britain0000
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!