Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has opened up on the darkest period of his career, explaining where and when it all went wrong for him.
The England international seemed to be going on an irreversible decline but has managed to drag himself from the depths of hell to become an impactful player at the club once more.
Lingard wrote in The Players’ Tribune: “But then, right after I came back for the 2018–19 season, I got this injury in my groin. Osteitis pubis. Proper niggly one.
“I’ve always run a lot in games, like 12, 13 kilometres. That takes a toll, but I’d always been able to push myself. This time it was different.
“I couldn’t keep going. After a few matches, I just stopped. Couldn’t play, couldn’t train. My body had just had enough. Everything came grinding to a halt — right when I was on that high.
“José Mourinho was the Manchester United manager back then and … well, he didn’t really like his players being injured. He didn’t want to know about it.
“And I’m like, ‘It’s not my fault, is it, Boss?!’. Me and José had a good relationship generally, though, I have to say. He was good to me.
“Before all the injury stuff, he trusted me, put me in for important games. We won trophies and he made me a winner. He could just bring out that side in you.
“But in terms of injuries, yeah, it was tough, because he didn’t want to hear it.
“We won trophies and he made me a winner. He could just bring out that side in you.
“From that point, I couldn’t get back to where I had been. I was struggling mentally as well as physically…
He added: “I love football. Love it to death. But there were times when I thought, ‘I just can’t do this anymore.'”.
The original full article certainly provides more insight and context but it’s interesting to see, along with off-the-field issues, just how impactful an injury can be.
One little knock to Lingard saw his career spiral, showing how footballers deserve a lot of credit for dealing with injuries of any kind and returning to their best form.
Some players even manage to return better than they were and in a sense, the former academy graduate has done the same, although it took him some time.
Lingard’s versatility and natural ability makes him a useful option but if he hopes to be a starting XI star then that ship sailed when Bruno Fernandes was brought in.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried to use the 28-year-old in the attacking midfield spot for half a season or more before he was forced to turn to the market to find the spark he needed. It’s safe to say he did.