Gary Neville rips into Manchester United star Jesse Lingard after the player’s brother complained about farewell
Speaking on his podcast with Sky Sports, Manchester United legend Gary Neville reacted to the criticism coming from the brother of midfielder Jesse Lingard, who claimed that the soon-to-be-departing player deserved a proper farewell and slammed the club for disrespecting him.
The English side played their last home game of the campaign last week and other departing players were given the opportunity to take to the field one last time in front of the Old Trafford crowd, but the academy graduate remained an unused substitute, which prompted his brother to take to social media to slam the club.
Neville, who captained United for several years, played down Lingard’s brother’s criticism of the club. He said that other superstars like Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce did not get an opportunity to play their last games for the team and did not get a send-off in cup finals either, so there was no reason Lingard should get it as well.
“There was a lot of nonsense spoken about Lingard. He’s been at the club a long time and done a good job. But I’ve seen Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce not play in their last games for the club and not get a send-off in cup finals.”
The 29-year-old has been with the Manchester side ever since he was a kid, rising through the ranks at the academy. He eventually broke into the first team under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal, who was known for giving youngsters the chance to shine on the big stage.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, Jesse!”
Although he became an established player for the senior side in subsequent years, he has found himself reduced to a part-time role over the past couple of seasons. Due to the intense competition in the squad and a slight dip in form, Lingard has struggled to convince his head coaches that he deserves a spot in the starting lineup.
Things reached a tipping point when his brother took to social media to criticise the club for not giving one of their own a proper farewell in the final home game of the season. However, Neville hit back at the player and said that sometimes it just does not work out, as he himself was only thrown in a toilet at West Brom when he was leaving United.
“They were both great captains and one of them probably is the greatest captain Manchester United have ever had. They didn’t get the send-off they wanted so I’m not sure why Lingard deserved it. I was thrown away in West Brom in a toilet – sometimes it just doesn’t work out, Jesse!”
With Lingard set to depart his boyhood club as a free agent when his contract expires in the summer, Old Trafford will be saying goodbye to one of the academy’s success stories. The Carrington graduate has not only managed to break into the senior side, but also win a few trophies.
He will depart this summer after winning the League Cup, FA Community Shield, and the UEFA Europa League with Man Utd earlier in his career. However, fans will largely remember him for the winner he scored against Crystal Palace in extra time to win them the FA Cup in van Gaal’s final season.
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Although it is never easy bidding farewell to an academy star, the nature of Lingard’s departure might upset some at the club. There seems to be an unnecessary controversy regarding the social media outburst by his brother, which could take away some of the shine from the Englishman’s eventual exit.
Hopefully, we see more of the player in the final game of the season against Palace. Perhaps a goal from Lingard at Selhurst Park could erase the memories of the past week and the attention it has gotten. Only time will tell if he gets one final run out for United this term.