Grealish entered the fray on 63 minutes
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Jack Grealish would have heard the smattering of boos from England supporters inside Wembley at half-time and there was certainly no mistaking the roar of approval when he was finally given his major tournament debut.
The smile on Grealish’s face when he had appeared on the big screens just after half-time showed a man who is desperate to play to the crowd and is relishing his role as England’s next hero in waiting.
No doubt the next demand will be for Grealish to start England’s final group game against the Czech Republic, as he did not have the time to make the kind of impact he would have dreamed of on Friday night.
England’s fans had arrived hoping to see their very own Paul Gascoigne moment and yet there had been little to get them off their seats before Grealish’s introduction with just under half-an-hour remaining.
This was a game heavy in industry, but lacking in magic, in something different, in a player ready to grasp the chance to become a superstar. It was lacking Grealish until England manager Gareth Southgate finally relented to public pressure.
Phil Foden, the Stockport Gazza with his bleached blonde hair who Grealish replaced, had his moments and there was a feeling of expectation when he received the ball.
But otherwise the atmosphere felt very much one of waiting to see when Southgate would turn to Grealish.
Southgate has been England’s very own ‘Tinkerman’, as this was the 32nd consecutive game in which he had made changes to his starting line-up.
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It is the longest run of consecutive changes since a sequence of 56 games between 1990 and 1996, and yet there had been no place for Grealish from the start against Scotland.
Understandably, Southgate had stuck with England goalscorer against Croatia, Raheem Sterling, along with Mason Mount and Foden on the right.
It was Foden and Mount who had combined well for the Chelsea midfielder to take a deflected shot from which John Stones hit the post from the resulting corner.
Grealish finally gets his moment to shine
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And Sterling also delivered an early low cross which Mount poked wide, but, otherwise, England were lacking in invention and Harry Kane was lacking in service before he was substituted for the second successive game.
Grealish warmed up at the half-time break no doubt hoping it would not be long before he got the chance and the cameras predictably focused on him taking his seat for the start of the second period.
Sterling almost set up Foden moments after the restart and Mount forced David Marshall into a save low to his right.
Grealish could not suppress a smile when the Wembley crowd cheered when the big screens showed him re-tying his boots in readiness to warm up.
He knows full well that he is the public’s pick and it only took nine minutes of the second half for the ‘Super Jack’ songs to start.
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There was some lovely footwork from Foden to get England on to the front foot before finding Kane who won a free-kick. But the chants for Grealish continued as he warmed up down by the corner flag.
Finally, just past the hour mark, Grealish was called upon and his first contribution was to win a corner with the Wembley crowd audibly lifted by his mere presence.
There were no groans or shouts of discontent when Grealish misplaced a pass after dancing his way into the Scotland penalty area. His supporters are more than ready to forgive his mistakes hoping they lead to a greater good.
Watched by one of England’s most famous number sevens, David Beckham who was part of the Wembley crowd, the country’s latest number seven stuck to the left side, rather than roaming across the front three as he does for Aston Villa.
England fans will have to wait a while longer to see a Grealish moment of magic in these Euros, but the impatience to see him now start a game will be hard for Southgate to ignore.