Jesse Lingard’s announcement of his new YouTube channel this month was met with a predictable reaction.
There was a great deal of support from loyal fans, but at the same time we saw a ridiculous level of anger and bile from people furious at… something, I guess.
It seemed like a fairly innocuous display of an athlete launching a clothing range, earning money for charity, and just generally enjoying himself. However, that was not enough for some people.
.@YouTube ain’t readyy for mee ?!! Go like, subscribe and comment ?? WHEN I HIT MY FIRST 100k SUBSCRIBERS THERE WILL BE PRIZES AND GIVEAWAYS ? ??? VERY SPECIAL PRIZES ?✈️ #BeYourself @JLingz LINK IN BIO & HERE: https://t.co/4vmVIR7tZQ pic.twitter.com/xDEWCKU2oC
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) January 16, 2019
Lingard, along with Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba and a handful of players from other clubs, has felt like a magnet for fury from grown adults who you’d assume might have better things to do with their time.
How far can Lingard push it, though?
What’s the most inoffensive thing he can do to still wind up those people who seem hell-bent to jump on his every move.
Eat an apple
As preposterous as it sounds, what someone else eats for their meals doesn’t affect you.
I know, hard to believe, but we’d wager that this is a rule which no longer applies when Lingard is involved. You just watch him bite into an apple and wait for the onslaught of Proper Football Men frothing at the mouth, rushing to find a way in which this is actually bad.
Maybe they’ll complain, as people have actually done before with a straight face, that it’s part of a vegan diet that will make him into a worse footballer.
Never underestimate what people are capable of.
Set up a charity boxing match
The horseplay between Lingard and his teammates just doesn’t sit right with some people.
Specifically, people who can’t get on board with young men enjoying each other’s company for… reasons, probably.
We’re pretty sure the sight of Lingard setting up a charity boxing match would lead to certain ex-pros jump through hoops to accuse him of glorifying violence, ignoring the good cause he’s supporting.
If the fight’s against one of his United teammates, that’s an added bonus. If he were to choose Pogba, a pundit might end up literally exploding in anger.
Donate to a food bank
There’s nothing wrong with this, surely, and some might say it’s actively good.
Not if JLingz is involved, mind you. We can only imagine the gymnastics required to explain why the positive message we thought we were witnessing is in fact a negative.
There are bound to be people waiting for him to miss a chance so they can argue he should have been concentrating on his football instead of the needy, or that if he really cared he’d donate all of his money.
If he really wants to push people over the edge, a special handshake with one of the volunteers ought to do the trick.
Adopt a puppy
No one can get angry as a puppy, surely? The phrase “puppy dog eyes” exists for a reason, and even those among us who wouldn’t call themselves a dog person can at least appreciate how cute the animals are.
If there’s ever a way for a pooch to inspire righteous anger, then surely it’ll be through a connection to Lingard. We’d surely see calls for him to focus on football rather than walkies, while the name he’s given the pooch will somehow be “immature” or “embarrassing”.
And let’s not forget the questions during every game he plays, demanding someone let us know who’s looking after the dog at any given minute.
Before you say “that never happens with Alexis Sánchez”, we all know the treatment of the two players isn’t exactly the same in other circumstances so won’t be here either.