JESSE LINGARD is a good friend of mine. I know him really well.
The Hammers fans are planning on throwing fake notes at him when the two teams meet at the City Ground on Sunday.
If I were Jesse, I would do my talking with my feet on the pitch, which will ultimately hurt them more than any direct reaction.
It is OK for fans to mock a player regarding the money he is on, but the player is supposed to have the moral high ground because he earns a certain amount?
Just because he earns those wages, it doesn’t mean fans can ridicule him and not expect something back.
We live in a weird world where everyone wants you to do what they think you should do at that moment in time.
But, everyone who is complaining right now, put them in Jesse’s shoes in this situation and they would do exactly the same thing.
If you worked at Asda, and Morrisons offered you double the money, every person who works at Asda is going to Morrisons.
But if you work in football and you’ve been offered double the money, you should stay and be loyal to that team? I don’t understand.
He was a free agent. He can do and choose whatever he wants to invest in himself and his family.
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And from a monetary point of view, he has played an absolute blinder.
Tell me someone who has left a top club like Manchester United, signed for a side with the history and the fanbase and the manager in Steve Cooper, on a one-year deal, doubling the money you were earning at United, then have a one-year option in your favour if you want to.
Tell me where that happens? It has never happened.
It is an unbelievable deal for him.
He is going to play for them week in, week out.
Jesse will also back himself and think: ‘If I can score and shine in this team, I’ll probably get myself in and around the World Cup set-up’.
Going back to West Ham, he would have had to already hit the ground running because that’s what he did the first time around.
During that loan spell in east London in the 2020-21 season for David Moyes’ side, he was on fire.
He scored nine goals in 16 appearances.
If he had started against Manchester City this time around for West Ham, not done anything and then started this week against Forest and didn’t play well, those same people complaining now would instead be saying: ‘Ah, he doesn’t care anymore’.
The narrative has been set on him whatever he does and it isn’t fair.
No matter which way he goes, you can’t win.
Jesse is his own man.
He is a big boy now and he can do what he wants and will always do what he wants.
DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF PASSION
WITH Italian coaches, emotional and intense is the best way to describe it.
But the one thing the Italians have is an undeniable passion for football and, under their leadership and style of play, you become a better footballer.
Your football intelligence goes through the roof.
If you are feeling fit and strong and one step ahead, it can only benefit.
If I was playing for Antonio Conte then I would give up EVERYTHING I thought I knew about football and start listening to him.
The Tottenham squad will have accepted that Conte is a natural, serial winner. So anything that comes with that needs to be accepted, too.
The thing is, every player would run through a brick wall for their manager when things are going well. Not so much when it’s not.
They are all buying into it right now, though, and you have to be ready to work to get results. I know Conte came out last season and pointed the finger, perhaps more at the board, but all he was saying was: ‘I will leave if we don’t improve the squad’.
I have worked with a lot of Italian coaches, players, directors of football, owners, and the coaches have never pointed the finger at his own players.
If anything, they think you should work with you more, they want to be more invested in what we are doing, look at more details and be more prepared.
It is about everyone raising their standards.
And now, after the successful summer they have had in the transfer market, the ownership at Tottenham can turn around and say: ‘We have delivered, now give us something back’.
There will be a grace period between November or December where everyone watches and if it works then they could go again in January.
I think Tottenham will close that gap at the top of the Premier League — they are now the closest team to Manchester City and Liverpool ahead of their trip to face Chelsea on Sunday.
I just think Tottenham have got so much better as a team that I would not be surprised if Harry Kane ends up scoring FEWER goals this season just because he wants to sacrifice it for his manager.