Gareth Southgate is aware of what the internet thinks of his love for Mason Mount 7 months ago

Gareth Southgate is aware of what the internet thinks of his love for Mason Mount

Nothing feels real any more.

Perhaps it's passed you by, but there's a certain segment of England fans - mainly Aston Villa supporters, and probably anyone who has watched the man playing - who have accused Gareth Southgate of having an agenda against Jack Grealish in recent weeks.

Despite Grealish's impressive club form, the midfielder had to be patient in waiting for his first England call-up, which finally came as he made a substitute appearance in the game against Denmark in September.

Southgate has seemingly preferred to play Chelsea's Mason Mount instead of fielding Grealish, but did start the Villa captain for win over Wales last month. After it, the England boss was asked for his opinion on Grealish's performance and, while praising him, found a way of speaking in even more glowing terms about Mount, who had come on as a second half sub.

And that, friends, is all the internet needs.

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Very quickly, the idea that the England boss will always turn a conversation about Grealish into an opportunity to praise mount crystallised into meme form - something Southgate is now clearly all too aware of judging by his latest press conference.

Ahead of the return of the final international break of the year, Southgate was asked about whether Grealish would play.

"I suppose on that you're referring to Mason, whose only crime is not to be Jack at the moment," he joked, in quotes which appear in The Telegraph.

"I'm also aware I should talk about Mason because then it keeps the memes going of me talking about Mason," he added. "So we have got to fulfil all those requirements just to keep the Villa fans happy, especially.

"What would they be able to do on social media if they didn’t have that opportunity? So, yes, of course I’m aware Jack's playing well."