Jesse Lingard has been nothing short of sensational for West Ham United of the Premier League, scoring 9 goals in 10 games for the hammers. The 28-year-old has played for England on 26 occasions scoring 7 goals, Lingard’s stock couldn’t be higher, but that wasn’t always the case.
Back in 2019, Lingard’s form dropped dramatically at Manchester United and eventually he was removed from the match day squad at the red devils. Why his formed had dipped so much was analyzed by pundits and fans, but it was more than just a dip in form, something much more serious was happening in the life of Jesse Lingard.
On a recent Television show, Lingard shed some light on what was happening to him personally back then, and it had nothing to do with just not properly kicking a ball, it had to do with something close to home, his mother. Lingard’s mother had been battling depression and it was a difficult time for the young soccer player.
Jesse Lingard on his mother’s depression
On the show Lingard stated that it took him a very long time to come to grips with what has happening to his mother, “When you're young, seeing your mum going through something like that, you don't understand it logically, you don't know what she's going through… She'd say, 'I'm depressed, I'm depressed' but me, as a kid, you don't know what that means."
Lingard admitted that the situation took a huge toll on his career as he could not concentrate on soccer and his level of play quickly dropped. "It feels like you're not the same person, I feel like I wasn't Jesse Lingard. Even in football matches, I felt like the game was just passing me by, like I just didn't want to be there - it was crazy.”
Lingard’s own mental health began to take a hit when he realized that he was satisfied playing on the bench. "I was going into games happy sitting on the bench and that's not me. My mind wasn't there, I wasn't focused at all. I was thinking about other things and obviously bottling it all up trying to play football, you're tense, you're stressed, and you can't do it.”
Lingard summoned the courage to tell the people at Manchester United what was happening to his mother and the club provided care for him and his mother during that difficult stretch.
When the Premier League was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic it helped both Lingard and his mother, “Lockdown has kind of transitioned me in a way. I watch my old games back and watch the World Cup games back and the old games I used to play and I think, 'Yeah, that's the real Jesse Lingard'. The time that I had going a couple seasons back or last season, it just wasn't me at all and you can see that… When I finally opened up and everyone understood it was like, 'Oh that's why', so now it's just me getting my head back together, football and helping my mum and I don't really have time for anything else really."
Now at West Ham United Lingard has turned his career around and wants to inspire others, "That’s why I did open up, I want to change people’s lives and inspire others to start opening up, cause I've been through it and I know what it’s like to bottle things up, so if I can pass on the information to anyone who’s going through mental health issues, it’ll make me smile."