The Irish manager thinks he'd have been a good influence on the Aston Villa winger
With Jack Grealish in the news for the wrong reasons again this week, Martin O'Neill has claimed the player's recent problems could have been avoided had he declared for Ireland at international level.
The Aston Villa winger, who represented England's Under-21s this summer, has been fined two weeks' wages and was suspended by Aston Villa for yesterday's clash with Newcastle, after the police were called to a hotel party he attended in Birmingham last weekend.
While no arrests were made by the police, and Grealish was not one of those thrown out of the party, it is another blemish on his record, as his off-field behaviour has now drawn criticism from each of Villa's four previous managers.
O'Neill believes that things could have gone differently for the 21-year-old had he chosen to represent Ireland in the summer.
"Would I straighten him out? There's a fairly decent chance I would have done. A fairly decent chance.
"I would have been delighted if young Grealish chose us and I think I would have sorted him out because I've been able to do that with a few players during my career.
"Having him in France at the Euros would have been like a club. I don't think he would have been involved in the shenanigans he has been if I was his club manager. He wouldn't have had the same problems."
While he appeared happy to answer questions regarding Grealish, the player's decision is now water under the bridge, as the Ireland manager wants to focus on the upcoming international fixtures with Moldova and Georgia.
"Once he had decided to go for England, that was fine, he has made his decision. He has to live with that and I move on. I don't see him playing for England in the immediate future, but he has the talent.
Via Irish Sunday Mirror