Jesse Lingard has struggled at Manchester United over the past couple of years, there’s no doubt about that.
He was flying during the 2017-18 campaign and, for a brief period of time, became one of the Red Devils’ most productive players. That season he scored 13 goals and registered seven assists in 48 appearances.
His popularity sky-rocketed as a result and the Old Trafford faithful loved him for both his ability and his joyful personality.
Lingard was less effective the season after that - scoring five goals and registering four assists in 36 appearances - and things have continued to spiral for the 27-year-old ever since.
So far this season - the most difficult of his professional career so far - Lingard has failed to score or assist a single goal in 20 Premier League appearances.
The England international has scored two goals in the Europa League and FA Cup, and registered assists in the Europa League and EFL Cup, but his performances have been well below the standards expected of a Manchester United player.
His confidence is clearly shot to pieces right now - and a lot of the comments directed towards him, mainly on social media, have been well over the top. Some of the abuse, however, has been appalling.
Man Utd’s match-going fans stick by their players through thick and thin - particularly their away supporters - which makes the following footage even more shocking.
A video showing one of two ‘Man Utd fans’ - and we put that in quote marks because you can never tell for sure whether they’re genuine United fans or a couple of idiots pretending to be - abusing Lingard as he got onto the team bus following Thursday night’s 3-0 win over Derby County is hard to watch.
“F*** off, Jesse, you’re s***!” screams one person at the top of his lungs over again.
Another shouts: “Zero goals and zero assists in 2019, you’re dead”
The funny thing is, if either of them were in a room on their own with Lingard, you can bet they’d be asking for a selfie instead.
You have to hope that these idiots were merely trouble-makers trying to cause a stir and not really members of United’s travelling support. It would be depressing if they are.
While it’s fair enough for fans to criticise any player after a poor performance, there’s absolutely no excuse for abuse like this.
Most right-thinking fans share the same opinion, judging by the reaction to the footage on social media…
The way things have been recently, it’s hard not to feel that it would be in Lingard’s best interests to start afresh at a new club in the summer.
It’s all getting a bit poisonous and nasty now.
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