Jesse Lingard has received a place in Garth Crooks’ BBC ‘Team of the Week’ following his impressive display during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Everton on Monday.
The 25-year-old kept the home side on the back-foot with a series of crisp darting runs through the middle and forced a superb save from Jordan Pickford in the second half.
He finally got his name on the scoresheet, reaching double figures for this season in the process, with a sumptuous curling strike after 81 minutes.
And Crooks has duly rewarded the Englishman for another strong outing with a place in his ‘Team of the Week’.
A story recently emerged about Lingard in the Daily Mail that wasn’t about football at all, but rather something he did, in private, soon after the draw with Southampton.
The content of this report is irrelevant – firstly because it has been since pulled from the site, presumably because the whole thing is – wait for it – complete nonsense.
But secondly, and most importantly, the content of the story is irrelevant because, actually, this report was indeed about football in an obscure, malevolent way.
The Mail has an age-old habit of singling out young, promising, outgoing black footballers at the peak of their game and finding something to bring them down, to debase their image. They did it with Raheem Sterling for years. Paul Dacre has always made extensive efforts to ensure that non-whites are painted in a more questionable light.
And now, with Lingard entering the form of his life, netting seven goals in nine games, the Mail, right on cue, has found a new target, but you can be sure that Lingard doesn’t care one jot.