Manchester United fans have taken to social media to show support for Jesse Lingard following a revealing interview about his family problems.
Lingard’s struggles have affected his on-field performances, he confessed in an interview with Sportsmail.
Jesse Lingard gets a lot of stick from the fans, especially on this page, but this is well worth a read for a bit of perspective. Good on him for opening up on the personal stuff – I’d say his form has benefitted recently ??#MUFC ??http://t.co/6Fpvgdhzwb
— The Devil's Trident (@DevilsTrident) December 14, 2019
The 27-year-old has had to take over the parenting duties of his younger brother and sister Jasper and Daisy-Boo, aged 14 and 11 respectively, due to his mother, Kirsty, being unwell.
The siblings have moved in with Lingard, who also takes care of his own one-year-old daughter.
Jesse Lingard has spent the entire season looking after his daughter, his two under 14 siblings, dealing with his grandad having cancer, mum being so ill she can’t look after her son and grandmother being ill. I don’t care what anyone says, he’s such a strong human.
— beth?? (@LingardUtd) December 13, 2019
The situation had been going on for weeks when the player decided to come clean to manager Olé Gunnar Solskjaer about his problems after losing his place in the starting line-up and fearing for his future as a Manchester United player.
‘I wasn’t performing and he was on me all the time…So I felt it was best to get everything off my chest and tell him why my head wasn’t right. So I knocked on his door.’ he told Mail reporter Ian Ladyman.
Jesse Lingard: Man Utd midfielder opens up to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – It is so easy to forget that professional athletes have normal problems too. Glad that Lindgard opened up and got that emotional support he needed from the coach.
We all need positivity http://t.co/jGFSKyk2Is
— David Mullings (@davidmullings) December 14, 2019
Lingard’s grandfather Ken also has prostate cancer.
The player believes that opening up to Solskjaer was the turning point in his struggle to deal with his personal circumstances. ‘The manager said to me, “Just go on and play with a smile and enjoy it”…He has just told me that everything will be OK. Maybe I just needed someone to say that.’
Hopefully this was the case, and he can start getting back to form. Footballers do have a personal life that affects them, just like anyone else.#MUFC #JesseLingard #Lingard #MentalHealthMatters #Football #PremierLeague #PersonalLives pic.twitter.com/vepjlrdVSr
— The Perseverer (@The_Perseverer) December 14, 2019
It seems ironic that a player accused by many fans of being irresponsible and not taking life seriously enough has actually been suffering on the pitch because of having too many responsibilities off it. Most fans have responded sympathetically, but some have been skeptical.
I've had 5 relations pass in my family this past 2 years,and my dad has recently found out hes cancer,but I still get on wit it,I dont down tools and make excuses,lingard has being crap for a few years now and gettin a free pass cause hes a footballer
— Johnnyhalley (@Johnnyhalley3) December 14, 2019
The player seemed to have won his starting place in the team back from Andreas Pereira after some better recent performances, but a knock sustained against Manchester City has left him struggling for fitness for tomorrow’s game against Everton.