Jesse Lingard has given a tell-all interview on Stephen Bartlett’s Diary Of A CEO podcast, discussing his struggles with depression, alcohol, falling out of favour at Manchester United and more.
Speaking on the popular podcast series earlier this week, the former United academy player opened up about how the final days at his boyhood club transpired, shedding light not only on his own personal struggles but decisions made in the background by higher-ups which only hampered things even further.
Lingard spent 22 years a the club and broke into the first team in the 2015/16 season under Louis van Gaal, scoring winning goals in both the FA Cup final and Community Shield and going on to become a trusted first-team regular under multiple managers.
However, the Warrington-born midfielder fell out of the squad in 2019 and only managed four starts in 22 appearances during his final season under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and interim coach Ralf Rangnick. As he explained to Bartlett, there was a lot more than just a lack of game time going on behind the scenes.
One of the first things he covered in the lengthy and extremely honest discussion was how things turned so sour at United that he started to use drinking and regular ‘nightcaps’ as a way to “try and take the pain away”.
Not only did he stop getting game-time at Old Trafford but despite looking like a rejuvenated and crucially happy figure while spending half a season out on loan at West Ham in 2021 — bagging nine goals and five assists in 19 games — he also had a transfer blocked by the club in January 2022.
As was reported at the time, despite United deciding to keep him as a squad player, newly bought Newcastle were also reportedly in for the 30-year-old following his resurgent spell in London but the board ultimately decided to block the move.
It was later reported that Jesse asked for days off which he denied publicly at the time and went on to reiterate to Bartlett that it was a fabrication by then-newly appointed football director, John Murtough, and made public by Rangnick. Always two sides to every story.
To make matters worse, it’s not like anyone could begrudge Lingard for requesting time off even if he did; on top of the horrific levels of abuse he was receiving from his own club’s fans, he was also struggling with numerous personal issues.
As well as his grandfather battling prostate cancer (a figure who has always played a key role in his life), he was also having to deal with his mother’s struggles with depression, which became so severe that she was admitted to hospital in 2019, leaving Jesse to look after younger siblings Jasper and Daisy-Boo.
“The depression was so bad she couldn’t really cope anymore and she needed to go away and get help,” he told Bartlett. “My little sister who was 11 at the time, and my little brother who was 15, for me, I was still going through my own things as well. So I wasn’t really the big brother they wanted at the time.”
He confessed, “I just wasn’t there mentally” and noted that he receive some support from Solskjær during the difficult period. Despite having wanted to get back out there and play football for so long, he said he suddenly “didn’t want to be on the pitch” anymore and needed a break from the spotlight.
It’s deeply saddening to hear that the faithful United servant and England international was subjected to such poor treatment by fans from his own club while all this was going on. More importantly, it’s an important reminder that abuse of any kind, online or otherwise, is simply not on.
Now thankfully enjoying his football again at Nottingham Forest, Lingard later went on to try and explain the various issues surrounding his former club. Putting it quite simply, he said that they are “so far behind on everything”, whether it be the training facilities, the recruitment or even the social media.
Many have noted that these comments echo the complaints made by Cristiano Ronaldo in his no-holds-barred interview shortly before he was released from the club too, though admittedly, we’re sure most Reds would agree — it was more the way he went about it.
You can watch Jesse Lingard’s full interview on The Diary Of A CEO podcast down below:
Featured Image — Diary Of A CEO (via YouTube)/Jesse Lingard (via Instagram)
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below:
Featured Images — Scott McTominay (via Instagram)/MUTV
Kevin Sinfield has entered the final leg of yet another ultra marathon challenge for MND
Ex-rugby player turned England coach Kevin Sinfield has begun the final day of yet another incredible ultra marathon challenge he is undertaking to raise money and awareness around motor neurone disease (MND), with the sports personality scheduled to finish up this Thursday.
Having set off on 1 December, the Oldham-born athlete is facing what he has called easily his “toughest challenge” yet, taking on the newly-dubbed ‘Ultra 7 in 7 in 7’, which will see him once again run an ultra marathon every day for seven days across seven different cities.
Following on from his first Ultra 7 in 7 back in 2020 and most recent one last year, the Leeds Rhinos legend has now raised well over £8 million pounds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), the cause he got behind following his former teammate and best mate Rob Burrow’s diagnosis in 2019.
Now, having taken on the incredible feat once again — running the equivalent of 27 miles (43km) a day — Sinfield is hoping to not just reach the trademark £777,777 fundraising target, but smash it for a fourth consecutive time. Here he is finishing up his penultimate leg in his second home.
Setting off from Yorkshire’s iconic Headingley Stadium with a team of friends and volunteers, the 43-year-old has passed through the likes of Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton, and is now staring down one last push towards the finale from Twickenham Stadium to the Mall in London.
Having already amassed over £557k in donations since the start of his remarkable journey, he is well on course to reach the finish line in every sense of the word.
The best part about this most recent Ultra 7 fundraising challenge, though, is that beyond just putting in the hard yards in Burrow‘s name and raising money for the MNDA, the funds generated from this series of runs will be going to multiple causes.
As well as the Leeds Hospitals Charity and The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, money will also be going to the Irish MNDA set up by former Scottish rugby player, Doddie Weir, who sadly died from the condition in 2022 but has remained an inspiration to Sinfield and countless others over recent years.
Having echoed his lasting sentiment that “MND isn’t untreatable, it’s just underfunded” throughout his own campaigning for the cause, the local sporting hero will also be representing the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in his honour. Heartwarming stuff.
As we’re sure is the case for all of you too, we’ve been absolutely blown away by this man over the last few years not only in his ability to keep completing these huge feats of endurance but by the size of his heart in continuing to fundraise on such a massive scale.
From raising awareness around MND and becoming an emblem of friendship with his best mate Rob, Kevin Sinfield has truly set an example for all of us and will no doubt prove a role model to millions for years to come.