‘Out of touch, shocking… remember this is SPORT, not happy families’: Embarrassed Aston Villa fans slam the club’s gushing tweet – and 90 second highlights reel – to Jack Grealish as the £100m man returns with Man City
- Jack Grealish could make his Aston Villa return with Man City on Wednesday
- The midfielder left Villa in a £100million deal over the summer transfer window
- Villa sent a tweet welcoming back Grealish and thanking him for the memories
- The club’s supporters have branded the tweet as ‘out of touch’ and shocking
Aston Villa fans have slammed their club’s media team for posting a ‘welcome back’ tweet to former star Jack Grealish, branding it as ‘out of touch’ with the fans.
Grealish could make his Villa Park return on Wednesday night following his £100million move to Manchester City from Villa over the summer, with the midfielder set for an emotional return to his boyhood club.
Villa posted a tweet on the afternoon of the game thanking Grealish for the memories he gave the club. They accompanied it with a 90-second video of highlights from his time with the club.
But Villa supporters said it was ridiculous to be so friendly to an opposition player on the day of the game.
Aston Villa fans have slammed a tweet by the club’s Twitter account welcoming back former player Jack Grealish (above)
Villa put this tweet out before Grealish’s return to the club as a Man City player on Wednesday
The original tweet from Villa read: ‘Today, Jack Grealish could return to Villa Park for the first time in the colours of an opposition team.
‘Everybody at the Club welcomes you back Jack and thank you for the memories. UTV!’
But one fan tweeted: ‘I get you’re trying to be ‘classy’ but this is a terrible, out of touch tweet. Focus on the players who still play for Villa and have a game to win tonight rather than someone from the opposition.’
‘This looks so much more tin pot than the club probably thought it would,’ another claimed. ‘I personally don’t care what Jack is up to these days, but this strikes me as quite strange. Admin not exactly in touch with the majority of the fan base on this one. Not great. #avfc’
Supporters of the Midlands club branded the tweet as ‘out of touch’, ‘shocking’ and ‘terrible’
Another fan said: ‘Seriously!! This is embarrassing! He’s playing for the opposition now. It’s as bad as small heath (Birmingham City) retiring the shirt of Bellingham!’
A Villa fan group posted: ‘Why don’t you give them the three points while you’re at it, as a welcome present? This is sport. Not happy families.
Another supporter claimed: ‘Is this what happens when everyone is happy earning millions in the game and the edge of sport goes? No problem with JG, just this…’
Meanwhile, one fan said: ‘This is shocking, when are we renaming the Holte End after him?’
Grealish was Villa’s star player before moving to Manchester City for £100m this summer
Grealish came through the youth ranks at Villa and spent a decade as a professional player in their ranks until he moved to City as Britain’s first ever £100m footballer.
The midfielder played 213 times for the Midlands club between 2011 and 2021, captaining the club to Premier League promotion in 2019 and helped them become top-flight regulars once again over the past two years.
But Grealish, who had been at Villa since the age of six, chose to move to Premier League champions City to play European football and admitted to crying when he left his boyhood team.
‘I knew some people would be unhappy when I left, and I can see why some were like that, but I gave my all for the club every single year I was there. If I score, I’m not going to be celebrating,’ he told The Telegraph.
The midfielder became Britain’s first ever £100m player after completing the transfer to City
‘You can’t imagine how hard it was for me to leave. I went for a run in the morning, a load of people took photographs of me and it was all on social [media] that I was staying.
‘I came back and had to address all the players and staff. There were about 70 people there. I spoke for about a minute-and-a-half, then I had to stop because I had a lump in my throat and was crying.
‘I was a bit surprised by some of the backlash when I left. I’d never want a toxic relationship with anyone there. I owe everything to them and I wouldn’t be at City without Villa.
‘It’s a club that is so close to my heart and I definitely hope to go back there. That’s always been in my mind. Ashley Young has done it and I want to do the same, 100 per cent.’
Grealish had been at Villa since the age of six and played over 200 times for his boyhood team
Despite the niceties coming from Villa’s media team on Wednesday, new Villa boss Steven Gerrard has claimed Grealish will become the club’s ‘enemy’ on Wednesday night, despite the popular support he is likely to get from the home supporters.
‘I don’t see anything other than a positive reaction, but once the game starts, he’s the enemy and we want to compete against him,’ said Gerrard. ‘We want to make it as difficult as we can for him and his team.
‘I hope he gets a warm and positive reaction before the game. I think the supporters are very grateful for what Jack gave to this club.
‘They see him as one of their own, coming through the academy. He performed extremely well and helped them get back to the Premier League by bring a really influential figure.
Grealish is expected to receive a warm reception as his City side go to Villa on Wednesday
‘There are strong relationships here with Jack, which we very much respect. But from his side and ours, we need to be professional and get on with the game. Jack is a competitor and he will be focused on the job in hand.’
City manager Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has claimed Grealish needs to be more aggressive following a slow start to his career at the top-flight champions, which has included an injury setback in recent weeks.
‘Maybe at Villa, everything started with him and he was free,’ Guardiola said this week. ‘Now he’s in a new position and he has not been so determined or so clinical in the final third.
‘Sometimes maybe he has to be a more aggressive guy. When you get the ball close to the box, my friend, you decide whatever you want. That’s why you are Jack Grealish and not another player. They have to play and make their moments.’
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