Jesse Lingard has echoed some of the comments that Cristiano Ronaldo made in his infamous Piers Morgan interview and questioned who is actually running things at Manchester United.
Ronaldo claimed the Red Devils had made ‘zero progress’ off the field since he last left Old Trafford in 2009 when he was released from his contract after criticising the club during his bombshell interview with Morgan.
The Portuguese said: “Nothing changed since I left. The pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym, even some technology. Even the chefs who I appreciate, lovely people. I thought I would see new technology, infrastructure. I saw things I saw when I was 20.”
Academy product Lingard, who spent over two decades at Old Trafford before leaving to join Nottingham Forest in the summer, has now backed up Ronaldo’s appraisal of United. And he feels they need to become modern off the pitch.
Speaking on the Diary of a CEO podcast, Lingard said: “You know what it is, I think they’re so behind with everything.
“You see [Manchester] City’s facilities, you see Tottenham’s facilities when we go there with England and train at Tottenham, like people are miles ahead.
“Even the social side of things and that. I went to them like 2017 about YouTube and doing content, but they’re so behind on everything. I just want them to get up to date with the new things that are happening, the things that are popping. You’ve got to be relevant, you’ve got to stay relevant.’
Asked specifically about Ronaldo’s claims, Lingard added: “Yeah, and he left [the first time] years ago! You want the best things, especially as United is one of the biggest clubs in the world. You want the best for the best.
“Of course you want the best food and you want the swimming pool and the jacuzzi and the sauna, which is still there but [it should] be a bit more modern. Modernise, because you see City’s facilities and you think, ‘Get up to date, catch up a little bit!’ because they’re way behind at the moment.”
Lingard critical of lack of leadership
He continued: “They’re just behind in general. Back in the day we used to have table tennis, pool, a dart board, and it would keep you mentally happy and stuff like that. But not anymore, there’s no games room or nothing. You go in, you train and you go home.
“Sometimes you want to stay at the training ground, play darts with the lads, play table tennis with the boys. But like I say, they just need to catch up a little bit more and become a little bit more modern. They changed the canteen but to be relevant and stay in this day and age, you’ve got to be a little bit more modern.
“Who’s calling the shots? We don’t know. We don’t know what’s going on. And now of course they [the Glazer family] want to sell the club.
“We’re just behind on a lot of things, and you want the modern things, you want the things that are popping off at the time, but we don’t know who calls the shots about changing the training ground or things like that.
“They need to catch up a little bit, when you see what City are doing: fresh training ground, best facilities, no-one talking back in the press about the team.”
United back in action on Sunday when they head to Arsenal in a crunch Premier League clash.
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