clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jesse Lingard is "the English Andrés Iniesta", says ex-Manchester United coach

New, comments

According to former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen, United's latest first-teamer could be go on to be one of the best in the world.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Rene Meulensteen's managerial career didn't go particularly well, but during his time at Manchester United he was a generally well-respected coach, and so when he says something that sounds on the surface to be completely ridiculous, we should always remember that he knows better than we do.

That said, come on:

We like Jesse Lingard. We hope he turns out to be good. But that ... that's a big shout. Anyway, if any of you pick up United Review regularly, do let us know exactly how Meulensteen hedges, caveats and qualifies that grandiose claim. In the mean time, let's all enjoy this story from Per Nielsen's autobiography, as told by Daniel Taylor over on the Guardian.

Meulensteen, according to Nielsen, prepared for a European tie against Frankfurt by standing in front of a whiteboard and asking his players to decide which animal they wanted to be. Nielsen went first, mostly to break the awkward silence, and asked to be a snake. Meulensteen did not like snakes. "Snakes are slow animals, we cannot have snakes in our defence, the Germans will outrun us." So Nielsen suggested a tiger. "That's perfect! Tigers are brave, fast and strong. That is exactly what we need from a captain." By the time he was finished, Meulsensteen had a crocodile, a fox, an elephant, a giraffe and pretty much half of Noah's Ark. "We are smart, fast and clever animals, we cannot lose." Nielsen remembers looking at the board and thinking: "We are sending an entire zoo on the field."

Roar.