For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the days of being able to complain about squad depth and quality are long gone. The squad that the Norwegian heads up is arguably the best that Manchester United have had since they last won the league title under Alex Ferguson.
The marquee summer arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo have only further improved a squad that was already seen as underperforming.
The return, too, of an exciting playmaker in Jesse Lingard should excite fans. The hometown boy scored a cracking goal against West Ham United in the league to seal a late away win for the Red Devils. Given Lingard had just returned from a productive loan spell in East London, Hammers fans could have been forgiven for feeling a touch bitter.
However, the majority wished the player well after his season-defining form in 2021.
That being said, that mood might be changing somewhat after a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford for David Moyes’s team. The Irons came out as 1-0 winners after an impressive showing, far more structured than the league loss at home. So, West Ham fans were quick to note that Lingard – who was quite subdued outside of his goal – seemed far more likely to go down and complain in the comfort of his home stadium.
So much so that Mark Noble, the West Ham captain, called out the midfielder in a tongue-in-cheek manner once the game ended.
What did Mark Noble say about Jesse Lingard?
After the game ended, West Ham celebrated with their fans and were delighted. With captain Noble able to enjoy the win after his late penalty miss in the 2-1 league defeat, the Englishman spoke with Sky Sports after the game.
During the interview, Noble was quick to point out that Lingard had gone down somewhat theatrically in a bid to win a penalty. The ref was not convinced, though, and thus nothing was given. However, Noble was not keen to let the matter lie in his interview. There, he was able to get in a fly joke at his old teammate, saying: "That’s football, he dived and I told him off for screaming, funnily enough he didn’t really do it at our place but he does it here!"
However, the West Ham captain was keen to make clear that there was no bad blood or animosity about the situation, adding: "We had a laugh on the pitch today, I love Jesse. He’s a great character and I’m so pleased he’s come here and getting his chance.
"He’s scored some fantastic goals, obviously the one against us was hurtful, he’s a great lad and he deserves everything he gets."
Given the way West Ham played a role in helping to revive the ailing career of Lingard, some fans were naturally incensed. However, not as incensed as Manchester United fans who have seen yet another potential trophy fall off the list of honours they could win to finally kickstart the Solskjaer era with a trophy.
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