HomeNews‘Gascoigne was on another level’ – Southgate reacts to Grealish-Gazza comparisons
‘Gascoigne was on another level’ – Southgate reacts to Grealish-Gazza comparisons
October 10, 2020
England manager Gareth Southgate has stated his belief that young players should not be saddled with the “burden” of being likened to some of the game’s greats in the wake of Jack Grealish being compared to Three Lions legend Paul Gascoigne.
The Birmingham local played a starring role in the clash with Ryan Giggs’ outfit, delivering the assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s debut goal and providing an attacking threat with a style that has some drawing comparisons with Gazza.
And while Southgate feels that Grealish should savour the praise that comes his way, he feels that more emphasis should be put on the 25-year-old’s individual qualities rather than how he matches up to others.
“I think he should enjoy it,” Southgate said. “He had an excellent performance the other night. When you make your England debut at Wembley, it is an occasion to cherish and to remember fondly. He is not an 18 or 19 year Jack, he is more experienced than that.
“He is used to accolades, especially from his own supporters but he is highly thought of in the game. He’ll be hungry to back up the performance the other night and to continue to show people what he is capable of.
“I am very conscious that I don’t want to dampen the enthusiasm for Jack. I always answer honestly about people and when you talk about Gascoigne, there’s not a player in English football history who was at that level in my opinion.
“I don’t want that to be a criticism of Jack. I just think Gascoigne, who I played with, and I played with Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and you could go on about phenomenal, amazing attacking players who won Champions Leagues, won 100 caps with England and who broke goalscoring records.
“In many ways, I feel Gascoigne was so unique, and such an incredible player that I feel like I am talking about Bobby Moore. I think with young players who come through you shouldn’t burden or tag them by comparing them to someone else. Each one is unique with unique talents.