Jesse Lingard is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Not because he’s killed someone, got caught drink driving or mocked a disabled person. It’s not THAT serious. Instead, it’s for a multitude of reasons. But mainly, it’s because he’s been poor on the pitch for an extended period of time. Plain and simple.
Jesse Lingard – Twitter’s laughing stock
The Manchester United youth product is a figure of ridicule on social media. Not that many people are spared from the pitchforks of Football Twitter, but he in particular has not been spared. J-Lingz’s off the pitch persona and massive presence online means there’s even more scrutiny on him than any other player. Apart from Paul Pogba, the media’s scapegoat for everything wrong at United. There’s 100% an agenda against the French international, regardless of whether you think he should stay in Manchester or not. We did an article on it HERE, if you’re interested!
That damning stat of 0 goals and 0 assists in 2019 is banded around every time the England international steps on the pitch. His laid back personality, dancing at the Emirates, joking around on Instagram and everything else backfires heavily considering the now long period of time where he’s been poor for the Red Devils. It’s an ongoing joke Lingard is still a young talent learning the game with huge potential. He’s 27 YEARS OLD and is unable to play basic passes.
It’s got even worse though. United’s reported £45 million bid + Lingard for James Maddison, arguably England’s best midfielder, is laughable. He adds no value to that deal whatsoever and, as you can tell, Twitter hasn’t missed it’s chance to ridicule him. Moreover, now he’s being represented by Mino Raiola, who has been lambasting the club for the last 2 weeks. Genuinely, everything revolving around the attacker is backlash. He’s been poor on the pitch, dangerous off the pitch and now disrespected the club he’s, quite frankly, lucky to play for. It couldn’t be worse for the former Derby County loanee.
Lingard deserves some sympathy with private life issues
I’ll cut Lingard some slack now. The banter’s fine of course, but I don’t condone some of the abuse he gets on Twitter. Also, issues in his private life deserve to be taken into account more. His poor mother’s illness certainly won’t help him mentally on the pitch and the fact he’s having to take care of his young siblings, must be so difficult to balance with the high demands of the Premier League. What’s happened over the last few months has certainly not been good for his mental health. The social media abuse, poor form on the pitch and now difficulties in his personal life. You have to sympathise with him on a human level at least.
Not to mention, I don’t think Lingard is lazy or a bad professional. When you watch the Englishman play, he puts his all into every game, running like there’s no tomorrow. The only issue is it comes to nothing in terms of end product. Perhaps that’s a confidence issue, because we have seen him in the past thrive out wide, beating defenders with ease and scoring in big games. Scoring in 3 cup finals isn’t luck. He also works with the club’s foundation and is genuinely a good person. I don’t think many people doubt that. But I think he needs some advice. Not from me of course, but people close to him that need to get him back on track.
But some responsibility needs to be taken
There’s nothing wrong with being active on social media, it’s part of everyday life, let alone modern football. You have to build a brand online and a personality that helps you get endorsements and brand deals to help secure the long term financial future of you and your family. But it’s also unfortunately a double edged sword. When things are going great, no one bats an eyelid at whatever TikTok you’re posting (awful app, don’t tell me otherwise). But when the team’s going through a poor spell, fans are not happy and the league table doesn’t make good reading, fans will pounce on these things. That’s just the nature of modern day football, if you’re messing around on Instagram smiling, people will interpret that as you don’t care about playing for the team. Narrow minded, but that’s how it works online.
Things like the new clothing line, posting funny videos on Instagram when the team’s going through tough times and now becoming the client of a man who has publicly disrespected the club. Jesse Lingard has to take some responsibility for these. I don’t care how much you care about your brand, if it’s not going to plan on the pitch, anything off the pitch needs to be toned down. Otherwise, you will get backlash and ultimately, the value of the brand will go down. Produce the goods on the pitch and reap the rewards off it. Basic PR.
What Jesse Lingard needs to do
Is it all doom and gloom for the 27 year old now? Well no, of course not. He can turn this around. Toning down the social media activity and brand deals. Reeling back the business ventures and brand deals. But ultimately, working on getting back to his best for United. Maybe his future isn’t at Old Trafford, that could be the cold hard truth for Lingard. He might have to go on loan to a mid table Premier League club, or perhaps even the Championship to prove he’s still good enough at the top level. As crazy as it seems, he’s approaching his prime now, it’s make or break for Jesse Lingard.
I sympathise with him off the pitch with his family and mental health. But he can portray himself in a better way, so at least United fans can respect the shift he’s putting in. Ultimately, if he continues working hard and genuinely trying hard to contribute to the team, the rewards will come. The value of the J-Lingz brand will only go up, if he’s doing good on the pitch. Jesse Lingard CAN turn this around. But whether he does or not, only time will tell…
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