Micah Richards has defended his new Villa team-mate Jack Grealish
Last Updated: 06/08/15 12:00am
Micah Richards has defended his new Aston Villa team-mate Jack Grealish and says it can be hard when you burst onto the scene as a young player.
The 19-year-old Grealish produced some excellent displays for Villa towards the end of last season as they avoided the drop and reached the FA Cup final.
But he was also the target of some negative headlines when he was pictured inhaling nitrous oxide and when, over the summer, he was pictured lying motionless on the ground while on holiday in Tenerife.
The incidents earned him a rebuke from his club but Richards, who also emerged while he was still just a teenager, says Grealish deserves some patience.
"It's hard for youngsters coming through,” said Richards.
“I think he's a very talented boy but when you are going from earning - I don't know what it is now - 80 quid a week at (the age of) 17 and then you sign for big money, I don't know what he's on, but thousands of pounds, it's like, you think you're the man, don't you?
"I was 17. I still enjoy my cars but I was going outside restaurants, parking on yellow lines and stuff. And I'm thinking now, 10 years later, what was I doing? There's a car park just there!
"You've got a different mindset when you are young, giddy.”
Richards now feels that he has learnt from the mistakes of his youth, and he thinks the same happens with other young footballers.
"Your mindset does change," he said. "When you are young you are enjoying your life, but you've got to make mistakes to learn from them.
"As long as everyone learns from them, that's the key. We are only human, and you've got to enjoy life as well, but as long as you give 100 per cent when you are on that field I think the rest takes care of itself."