Jack Grealish told Sky Sports’s live post-match coverage of Aston Villa’s clash with West Ham (broadcast on 16/9; 22:02) that Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi successfully dealt with their clash as soon as Dean Smith’s men got into the dressing room at half-time.
In an underwhelming stalemate, there was one particularly notable incident during the first-half. Mings and El Ghazi engaged in a heated row that led to the two Villa players putting their heads together.
They were separated by their teammates before the situation could develop further. Grealish played down the incident as he shed light on what sparked the clash between the two players.
“It’s all handbags'” he told Sky Sports. “When you’re out there, heat of the moment. I think Ty was saying that Anwar didn’t track his runner or something. But like I said, it was just heat of the moment. As soon as we got into half-time, it was put to bed, they shook hands and we were out in the second-half trying to get the win.
“We said in there, ‘that can’t be happening out on the pitch.’ And then we said, ‘as soon as we leave this dressing room to go out to the second-half, everyone’s got to shake hands and be in this together’, which we were.”
It is obviously an incident that Smith would not have wanted to play out on the pitch. But it is probably not that uncommon for teammates to clash over mistakes or lapses in concentration.
The difference is that the large majority of those heated moments probably take place in the dressing room or on the training ground. It appears highly unlikely therefore, that Villa will have to worry about any lasting problems between the two men.
It should not have boiled over in that situation. But it is probably not an incident that Villa will struggle to move on from.