Jesse Lingard gets rare show of support, from former coach

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has backed Jesse Lingard to get his confidence back at Old Trafford.

Meulensteen was at the club when Lingard was coming through, being sent out on numerous loans before breaking into the first team under Louis van Gaal.

He gave his view on what Lingard has to do to get back on top of his game.

John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

What did he say?

The coach said on the Michael Anthony Show: “Jesse always had attributes in his game as Iniesta had for Barcelona.

“It’s more a confidence thing, you need to recognise as staff and coaches when did you have the best games? When did you score the most goals? Why isn’t it happening now?’

“Somewhere down that line there’s a dent and you need to find that and what you can do to make sure the focus goes back.”

James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Can Solskjaer get Lingard back on track?

Meulensteen has put a degree of emphasis on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his staff to help get Lingard back on top form.

Solskjaer has shown immense faith in Lingard since he took over but the Englishman still doesn’t have a league goal or assist to his name this season.

He has largely played Lingard in a number ten role, with Juan Mata outside when swapping the pair over might have worked better.

Lingard is still showing the same poor tendencies; an inability to find space between the lines by pushing too far up, slowing the game down as well as inconsistency and wastefulness.

Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

This isn’t just a poor run of form for Lingard. It’s two incredibly poor seasons in terms of a lack of output or even good performances for a creative player at the biggest club in the world.

He had plenty of credit in the bank with Gareth Southgate after the World Cup but his Euro 2020 hopes look to have gone up in smoke as well.

Lingard may hope it’s a case of tactical tweaks and a boost of confidence being all he needs, but the evidence suggests the problems run deeper.

Thoughts? Comment Below
Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.