It was the main talking point of an eventful goalless draw, with the pair being separated by midfielder Marvelous Nakamba before referee Mike Dean stepped in, telling both players: ‘You’re on the same team!’
El Ghazi could have been sent off for his actions and the incident was checked by VAR, but the Villa forward escaped a red card.
All 20 Premier League managers have done exceptionally well to get into the position they’re in.
They’re in charge of teams in, arguably, the best league in the world – but what were they like as players?
Some reached the very top of football, playing for huge clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona.
However, others didn’t have so much to put on their CV’s when they were trying to break into management.
Below you can see where each Premier League manager ranks based on their playing careers, according to talkSPORT.com.
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20. Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)
The veteran manager is best known for his days in the dugout and with good reason too.
Hodgson played for Palace at youth level but could never break into the first-team and then went on to play non-league football at a string of clubs for several years.
He began his training to become a coach in his early twenties so it’s no surprise Hodgson occupies bottom spot in this chart.
19. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)
He didn’t have much of a playing career at senior level but this was through no fault of Rodgers.
The Northern Irishman, who has managed Swansea and Liverpool in the Premier League before taking his current post at Leicester, had to retire as a professional at 20-years-old due to a genetic knee injury.
Like Hodgson, Rodgers studied coaching very young and has built up his name ever since.
18. Daniel Farke (Norwich City)
The German has taken Norwich back to the big time and their attractive playing style should see the Canaries get a lot of good results this season.
However, Farke’s career as a player was not so good as he spent his short playing career in the lower levels of German football, representing SV Lippstadt, Bonner SC and SV Meppen.
17. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Another one whose playing career was blighted by injury, Cherries boss Howe enjoyed limited success before turning to management.
He begun his career at Bournemouth and was signed by Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth in 2002 but sustained a knee injury shortly afterwards.
Pompey got promoted to the Premier League in 2003 but Howe was not part of that success and he eventually hung up his boots in 2007, aged 29.
16. Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
Sheffield United manager Wilder is living the dream by managing the club he supports in the top flight and he was arguably living the dream at the start of his playing career too by playing for them.
But after six years at Bramall Lane, via four different loan spells, Wilder was offloaded to Rotherham United.
The former right-back played for eleven different clubs in his playing career but did not see any kind of success compared to what he’s experienced as a manager.
15. Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
Villans boss Smith played for five different clubs in the football league over a 16-year playing career but his success was limited.
Smith came close to achieving promotion to the third tier of English football with Leyton Orient but the O’s lost in the play-off final twice.
The closest he ever got to the Premier League as a player was when he was at Sheffield Wednesday, who were one league below for one season.
14. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
A promising start to former Nottingham Forest man Dyche’s playing career was put on hold by a broken leg and after that he had to settle with bouncing around clubs in the lower divisions.
Probably the most memorable moment of his playing career saw him reach the FA Cup semi-finals with Chesterfield in 1997 where they almost beat Premier League side Middlesbrough.
Dyche scored a penalty which put Chesterfield 2-0 up against Boro at Old Trafford but the game finished 3-3. Boro booked their place in the final by winning the replay 3-0.
13. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
By his own admission, Klopp was not a particularly talented footballer and probably would have moved into management sooner than he did if Mainz let him.
Klopp played for five different German clubs but his days at Mainz are what his playing days are best known for.
He played for them for eleven years but never played in the Bundesliga despite going close to promotion a couple of times. He became manager in February 2001 and the rest as they say is history.
12. Marco Silva (Everton)
The Toffees boss edges out Klopp as he managed to make a grand total of two appearances in Portugal’s top flight but Silva didn’t have much of a playing career.
These appearances came while on loan at S.C. Campomaiorense but Silva spent most of his playing days at second or third division clubs in Portugal.
11. Graham Potter (Brighton)
You could argue that Potter has somewhat come from nowhere in recent seasons, however, he has plenty of experience playing in England.
The Brighton boss played for twelve different clubs including a season-long spell at Southampton in the Premier League, which helped him earn his only international cap for England’s Under-21 side.
10. Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham)
The Chilean was a one-club man throughout his 13-year playing career, representing Universidad de Chile.
Pellegrini started when the club were going through a lean patch of form but they won the league title in 1979. He hung up his boots in 1986 aged 32.
9. Unai Emery (Arsenal)
Although he made just five LaLiga appearances, Emery enjoyed a decent career playing in the second tier of Spanish football, making over 200 appearances over the space of seven seasons.
However, a knee injury brought the Arsenal manager’s playing career to a premature end in 2004/05 and he retired from the game aged 32.
8. Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)
Saints boss Hasenhuttl spent most of his playing career in his homeland of Austria and enjoyed a good amount of success there.
He won the Austrian Bundesliga four times and Austrian Cup twice, before having a spell with German side FC Cologne which didn’t really work out.
7. Javi Gracia (Watford)
After breaking into LaLiga by helping UE Lleida achieve promotion in 1993, Gracia established himself as a top flight player.
He went down a division by signing for Villarreal in 1999 but was part of their side which got promoted before going back down four years later with Cordoba where he saw out the final year of his playing days.
6. Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
Die hard England fans will know Pochettino as the player who gave away a penalty during England’s victory over Argentina at the 2002 World Cup, even if Michael Owen did go down a bit too easily.
The Argentine played at a good level though, representing Espanyol for ten years over two spells and played for French giants Paris Saint-Germain for two years.
Pochettino’s most notable achievements as a player include two Copa del Rey titles.
He can also count Ronaldinho as a former teammate, while he shared a room with Diego Maradona on international duty with Argentina.
5. Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves)
The Wolves boss won a bucket load of trophies in Portugal, particularly during his days at Porto.
Nuno won the Primeira Liga five times, the UEFA Cup and a Champions League title under a certain Jose Mourinho.
However, it should be noted that Nuno was the second choice goalkeeper throughout his glory days at Porto.
4. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
All this man knows is success. Guardiola has won trophies as a player and a manager.
The Manchester City boss is best known as a player for Barcelona where he won LaLiga five times, the Copa del Rey twice and was also in the team which helped them win the European Cup in 1992 – the Blaugrana’s first title in Europe’s premier club competition.
He also had some success at international level, helping Spain to Olympic gold at the 1992 games in Barcelona.
3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
If Solskjaer can have similar success as Manchester United manager as he did as a player then fans will be happy.
The Norwegian won six Premier Leagues, two FA Cups and a Champions League title in 1999, scoring the winning goal in the dramatic 2-1 triumph over Bayern Munich.
Solskjaer was something of a fringe player at Old Trafford at times but that was only due to the huge talent the United squad had when he was there.
2. Steve Bruce (Newcastle United)
His managerial career has had plenty of setbacks but there’s no doubting Bruce enjoyed a great playing career.
Bruce is best known for his days at Manchester United where he won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Amazingly though, he never made a senior appearance for England’s national team despite captaining the Red Devils.
1. Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
But at the top has to be new Chelsea boss Lampard, who is arguably the club’s greatest ever player.
Super Lamps, as he’s affectionately known, won everything on offer for club players including the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League.
He also finished second to Ronaldinho in the Ballon d’Or awards in 2005.
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It was unclear whether or not Friend had consulted the video assistant referee before blowing his whistle but the goal was chalked off and Villa were denied their equaliser.
Smith, who named the same starting line-up that beat Everton last week, felt the goal should have stood and defended Grealish against accusations of simulation.
“(It was a) good goal,” he said. “I think everyone else’s view was good goal.
“No one could understand why it wasn’t given. I spoke in the week about VAR and subjective decisions but that system is meant to right wrongs.
“I wondered what I’d be like when that system went against me. He got a nudge from (Wilfried) Zaha in the back. As he offloads it, (Gary) Cahill comes into the tackle as well. Simulation? No chance.
“Someone just put to me that his reputation may precede him. Well, he was the most fouled player in the Championship last season for a reason. He may be in this league as well. A perfectly good goal for me.
“I’ll probably get some waffle about the reasons, but it was a poor decision. I believe any goal that is scored goes to VAR. I don’t know whether it did or not.
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“For me, I didn’t understand the officials’ decision-making today.
“If you’re Jack Grealish, I’d be raging. He’s having his integrity questioned. He’s made a great run, laid it off for Henri Lansbury to score.
“He’s had his integrity questioned not only by the officials here, but in Stockley Park as well. Jack wasn’t even looking for a foul.”
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith believes his ‘powerful’ captain Jack Grealish has women weak at the knees.
The 23-year-old has become a firm favourite with the Villa Park faithful, building up a reputation as bit of a Jack-the-Lad character with his playing style and rockstar look.
But Smith believes the playmaker is now a true leader in the side’s ranks and couldn’t be more worthy of the captain’s armband.
Ahead of his side’s first Premier League match at Villa Park for three years, Smith said: “I felt Jack looked like a Premier League player last year playing in the Championship and I think he showed that against Tottenham last week.
“You just have to look at his legs now – and I’m sure there are probably a lot of girls out there who are looking at them! But as his head coach I see a real athlete now.
“He has got power in calves, he has got power in his gluts and he has got power in his thighs. With that, comes power and I think he has got quicker as a player and he looks at home in the Premier League now.”
Grealish boasts the unwanted record of having lost his last 19 matches in the top flight – and Smith has reaffirmed his belief that the Birmingham-born midfielder can prove his doubters wrong and reach the very top of football.
“The persona that’s around Jack, I really don’t pay much attention to,” he continued.
“It’s what he does when he comes into this training ground and when leaves this training ground that really matters to me. I know for a fact just how professional and how driven this lad is now.
“I saw it for myself on Tuesday when I came to watch the Villa ladies training at 8pm and he was still in the gym.“It just shows his dedication. We’d trained at Villa Park in the morning and were finished for the day.
“But Jack went home, had a sleep and then felt he needed to come in and do his usual gym session which he always does at the training ground.
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“So he was back here at our Bodymoor Heath base at 8pm on a Tuesday evening, which shows me how he has matured and how driven he is to become a top performer this season.
“I know how driven he is to succeed in the Premier League. On Saturday he intercepted so many balls against Spurs.
“We normally talk about Jack offensively or in the opposition’s third, but he knew he had to do a job for his teammates with the amount of possession Tottenham had and he worked so hard getting back.
“He was as gutted as anybody that he got robbed for their second goal. But it didn’t stop him getting on ball again. There were a number of times when he won it and carried the ball out of our penalty box- unfortunately the one time he got caught, we got punished and they scored.
“But he is an excellent player. He will learn and he can’t wait to be back in the Premier League at Villa Park for the first time in three years.”
Kane had gone three games without troubling the scorers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but he put that right with two goals in four minutes to seal the three points in what was a curious early evening in north London.
Spurs looked like starting the new Premier League campaign with a defeat after John McGinn’s early opener gave Villa a dream start to life back in the big time.
Tanguy Ndombele showed just why Tottenham broke their transfer record to bring him to the club with a fine leveller 17 minutes from time before Kane stole the headlines with two clinical finishes that masked a match which provided more questions than answers.
But for Smith, the level of performance cannot be questioned against a side he feels are almost indomitable.
He told talkSPORT: “There’s obviously a lot of disappointment having taken the lead and holding out for so long, but the better team – the far superior team won.
“But there is also a little bit of fortune on the goals. I think the first one deflected off Tyrone Mings, the second one was a bit of a ricochet from Tyrone and Bjorn Engels and then we got caught on the counter.
“We were trying to chase the game at the end, but we took it to the last six minutes which we can take something from.
“And certainly I don’t think we will be playing the quality of Tottenham all season.”
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Much was made of Villa’s dealings in the transfer market, bringing in 12 players following their victory in the Championship Play-Off final over Derby County.
Given Fulham tried this business strategy last season and it ended in their relegation from the Premier League, sceptics have been quick to warn Smith.
But the former Brentford boss is adamant he is happy with the new arrivals at his squad.
Aston Villa’s promotion to the Premier League was met with jubilant celebrations and sighs of relief from large sections of the West Midlands.
Dean Smith’s side beat Derby County 2-1 at Wembley to end a three-year exile from the top flight, but the boyhood Villa fan instantly set about building a squad capable of staying up as soon as the champagne had dried off his suit.
Club-record signing Wesley Moraes is expected to be confirmed on July 1 once work permit issues have been ratified, with the 17-goal striker making his £22million move from Club Brugge official.
Smith is still working hard to bring Tyrone Mings back to the club, with the Daily Express claiming the Villans want to add six more signings to their squad.
Jack Butland of Stoke is an option in goal, with Ethan Ampadu, Leeds star Kalvin Phillips and Brentford winger Said Benrahma also under consideration.
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With John McGinn and Jack Grealish set to stay after superb seasons in the Championship, Villa could quite easily have a squad capable of challenging for a top half finish in the Premier League.
So how could Smith’s starting XI for next season look? Check it out below.
Last season, Smith alternated between a 4-3-3 formation and a 4-4-1-1, depending on who the opposition was. If, for instance, they were playing a more defensive team at home, Smith would drop Grealish back into midfield alongside McGinn and Glenn Whelan.
This would allow Villa to attack from deep and get their playmakers on the ball to create chances for former loanee Tammy Abraham up front and then supply into the wide areas where the full backs were given license to roam past their inverted wingers.
While Whelan and Neil Taylor performed dutifully last year, the introduction of Phillips into midfield and Matt Targett from Southampton at left-back adds greater mobility to the side.
If, however, they play sides who expect to dominate the ball and will try to pass Villa to death, Smith can implement a 4-4-1-1 formation to solidify his team, with Grealish playing in a more advanced role to feed off scraps from the lone striker.
But the former centre-half has ended speculation about his future by signing a new deal with the Villans.
CEO Christian Purslow told the club’s website: “The Board of Aston Villa is delighted with John Terry’s contribution to our club in his first year as an Assistant Head Coach. We admire his dedication and commitment to gaining more experience and learning under Dean Smith’s leadership in these formative years of his managerial career.”
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Head Coach Dean Smith added: “I am really pleased that JT has extended his current deal as he is a pleasure to work with. We have had a successful start to our Villa coaching careers and JT has been instrumental in joining myself, Richard O’Kelly and Neil Cutler.
“He has complimented the team that we have and I have no doubts he will go on to be a top manager in the years to come. Our focus now is on the coming season and to try to continue the progress we have had in the past eight months.”
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