Roy Keane blames Jesse Lingard clothing line launch on weak United dressing room
It's safe to say Gary Neville and Roy Keane are not enamoured with Jesse Lingard's new business
Jesse Lingard launched his new clothing line - called 'Be yourself' as part of his JLingz fashion label - on Sunday December 9.
The launch was attended by a number of celebrities including his friend and Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford as he signed merchandise for queuing fans at the launch in Manchester.
Like many modern footballers, Lingard is acutely aware of the power of cultivating a brand and does so quite often, be it on the pitch celebrating goals, or on his social media accounts.
The timing of the launch though was questioned on Sunday however by Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Roy Keane, who were appearing as pundits on Sky Sports Super Sunday and were engaged in a wider discussion on distractions outside of football.
"Earlier on this week - you talk about players and characters, I actually like Jesse Lingard so I've got no problem there, I've got no problem with him launching a clothes range to be honest with you. But before Liverpool away - the biggest match of the season - don't launch a clothes brand. Not this week. Do it before Fulham," said Gary Neville.
"I'm not having a go at him for his character because players should actually have other careers, they should do other things. But you just see that little thing this week and I thought 'not this week, not this week, it's Liverpool'.
"Concentrate on Liverpool, no distractions, no disruptions."
This point of view was echoed and hit even more strongly by Keane, who was making his Sky Sports punditry debut ahead of the game.
"If there was a good strong dressing room that wouldn't be tolerated. That's why I worry about the United dressing room. That wouldn't be tolerated in a good dressing room from a young player, who's still learning his trade. Again, he could be the nicest kid in the world, I don't know the lad. But if you're coming out with all that nonsense..." said a visibly exasperated Keane, before going even further.
"People say you should have other stuff outside of football, but I don't think you should. I think football should be your number one priority. It should be. Focus on the game. Don't hide behind your cars or tattoos or your girlfriends or agents. Play the game. You can do all that stuff when you retire."
"Not this week!" 🤦♂o@GNev2 and Roy Keane question @JesseLingard's decision to launch a clothing line ahead of this week's clash with @LFC, saying football should be his only focus. ⚽
Watch Super Sunday live on Sky Sports Premier League now! https://t.co/ilA0zO28XG pic.twitter.com/1rO0Ji2KZh
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 16, 2018
So there you have it. Strong, strong stuff from Neville, and Keane in particular.