During an emotional interview with ‘Diary of a CEO’ on YouTube, Nottingham Forest forward Jesse Lingard has revealed he resorted to drinking to numb pain caused by abuse from Manchester United fans.
Jesse Lingard joined Nottingham Forest from Manchester United last summer after going through an on-and-off period with the Red Devils, and admitted he accepted the move due to the love he felt from the the Reds.
A lot of struggles for Lingard came off the pitch, especially with his mother, which had direct consequences for his football life and left many fans angry with the player.
“I felt like i had the world on my shoulders”
Jesse Lingard, Nottingham Forest FC
At the start of the interview, which is available to view on YouTube, the Reds forward explained how his mother couldn’t cope with him when he was younger.
He said: “She would drop me off at school at 8am, then sleep till 3pm when she would pick me up.
“Then probably go back to bed, curtains shut, dark room.
“She would bath me and whatever before I would go to bed but then she would sleep all night again.”
In 2019, Lingard’s mother was admitted to hospital for her depression which left him as the primary carer for his younger brother and sister, impacting his on pitch performances.
Lingard admitted he wasn’t there mentally when all this was happening.
“I did not want to play, I didn’t want to quit football, but I needed a break.
“I was going into games with a blank mind, and I just didn’t want to be there.”
He then explains how this combined with abuse from fans criticising his performances tipped him over the edge resulting in the player drinking alcohol before bed.
“I’m human, it affected me, I’m already down enough and I have to perform on a weekly basis, so of course there is going to be critics, but to be abused like that, I just thought I can’t be asked no more.
“I felt like I had the world on my shoulders.
“I was drinking before bed, I thought what am I doing that for, but I needed something to take the pain away and put me at ease, but it made it ten times worse.”
Lingard admitted that he does not look at social media, and it was more negative comments around the ground from fans and pundits.
“I think [looking on Twitter] is one of the worst things you can do, why search for it?”
Lingard fell out of favour at the club and tried rejuvenating his career with a loan move to West Ham in January 2021, which flew the forward back into the limelight to become one of the most in-form players in the league at the time.
Scoring nine goals and providing five, he thought the club would sign him permanently in the summer but felt more love from Steve Cooper and Nottingham Forest.
“Forest showed the love, the willingness and the hunger to want me. They flew me here, there and everywhere to get the deal over the line.
“Nottingham was like ‘we love you, we want you, the manager will come to your house, the owner wants to fly you to Greece for the deal’.
“For me it was a new challenge, because all I have known is Manchester United.”
Jesse Lingard on diary of a CEO.
Really good listen. Talks about a lot of important things. Such a good bloke.
Also says he’s never experienced an atmosphere like the City Ground before.#NFFC
— Callum Castel (@callumcasteln) January 19, 2023
Lingard admitted he actually lost respect for Manchester United, a team Forest have to face next week in the EFL cup semi-final:
“Probably, yeah. [There was] no balance, no structure, people doing what they want. It was like a free-for-all.
“They are so behind with everything. You see [Manchester] City’s facilities, Tottenham’s facilities. People are miles ahead.”
Watch the full interview here: Jesse Lingard Reveals The Problem With Man United Today & Why He Moved To Nottingham Forest | E214 – YouTube