Many Aston Villa fans have reacted to comments made by manager Dean Smith over the lack of protection for attacking midfielder Jack Grealish.
The Midlands side remain in the bottom three of the Premier League after failing to pick up a win since the return of football last week.
Having gained promotion last term via the play-off final, Smith will be hoping his side can find some consistency in order to maintain their top flight status.
Grealish has arguably been Villa’s best player this term, netting an impressive seven goals and six assists in the Premier League this term.
One of the most noticeable parts of Grealish’s game has been his desire to run with the ball and Smith has now made comments on how many times to the former England under-21 international is fouled during games.
Speaking via Sky Sports, Smith said: “The most surprising stat will be that there’s only about five bookings for those 140 fouls. There is nothing Jack can do other than wanting to keep getting on the ball and running at them in the final third. The officials probably need to protect him more for sure.”
Indeed the stats back up Smith’s comments, with Grealish being fouled on average five times per Premier League match during the current campaign (via WhoScored).
Reacting to Smith’s comments via Twitter account @villareport, fans of the club shared their opinion and it seems many weren’t too impressed with their manager, with many suggesting he is simply trying to make excuses for their lowly position in the table…
He needs to worry more about his real job which is meant to be about Villa winning & spend less time talking about Jack the lad.
— Pingu (@___Pingu__) June 23, 2020
How is this surprising ? He rolls infront of challenges and looks to get a free kick most of the time he gets the ball.
What’s surprising to me is why you leave him out to dry on the left wing.
— Chris Cooper (@coopsrun) June 23, 2020
So basically he is saying 140 fouls every player Should he booked, Deano has lost it, had a very hard year, needs to take some time off tbh, clear his head
— jack-Daniel (@JackDaniel1738) June 23, 2020
I’m more surprised Smith sticks with 1 up front when we need to be winning games
— Craig Davidson (@C_Davidson11) June 23, 2020
Oh shut up dean. Broken record now.
— Sean Beatty (@SeanBeatty1) June 22, 2020
Highly doubt he’s saying we’re 19th because the refs don’t protect jack
— Matt🎒 (@avfcmatt_) June 22, 2020
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