Lingard and West Ham: The Untold Fitness Tale
In the realm of football, the ebb and flow of players’ fortunes is as predictable as the British weather. One such story revolves around the enigmatic figure of Jesse Lingard and the London powerhouse, West Ham.
A Past Flourished in Claret and Blue
For those who cast their memories back, Lingard’s short-lived dalliance with the Hammers during the latter half of the 2020-21 season was stuff of legends. He orchestrated performances which delivered a six-goal tally, essentially throwing West Ham a lifeline. But, as it so often does, the tide turned. Despite the fond memories and impressive statistics, Lingard sidestepped a return to the London Stadium, choosing instead the allure of a tantalising contract with Nottingham Forest.
From Forest to the Hammers: An Unexpected Reunion?
Fast forward a bit, and Lingard found himself without a club post his one-year stint with Nottingham Forest. West Ham, possibly sensing an opportunity, allowed the 30-year-old a platform to train with them. This gesture sparked rumours. Could this be the start of a second romance? A whisper of hope?
The murmurs grew louder after Lingard donned the claret and blue in a behind-closed-doors skirmish against Ipswich Town. But as with all good tales, the plot took a twist.
The Al Ettifaq Prospect
Whilst many surmised that Lingard’s next destination was the Saudi Pro League club, Al Ettifaq, managed by the renowned Steven Gerrard, few knew the reason why. The popular narrative was that Lingard himself chose this path, hungering for a fresh start.
But, as reported by Football Insider, the script was flipped.
The Fitness Quandary
As it turns out, David Moyes and his troupe of tactical thinkers harboured concerns. Their collective belief was that Lingard’s fitness levels weren’t up to the mark for the rigorous demands of Premier League midfield play. The journey to prime fitness, they deduced, would be a lengthy one, potentially more prolonged than what West Ham were willing to invest in.
This led to the tough call. West Ham decided to cut the cord, parting ways with a player who had, not too long ago, been pivotal in their survival.
Lingard’s Journey Ahead
Having given his all in 20 appearances for Nottingham Forest, starting 14 of those, one can only hope that Lingard finds the right fit in his next endeavour. Whether at Al Ettifaq or elsewhere, this tale serves as a testament to the unpredictable, yet thrilling, narrative of football.