McLeish: Barely-seen West Ham player dazzling Moyes in training
Jesse Lingard must have dazzled David Moyes in training to have been thrown into the West Ham starting XI, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Rangers and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted there was not a lot of time for his fellow countryman to run the rule over the Manchester United loanee before the Irons’ game against Aston Villa.
There were just four days between Lingard arriving in east London and him scoring a brace against Aston Villa after being named among the starting XI at the expense of Fornals.
It was the 28-year-old’s first Premier League start in over a year, having been left as an unused substitute just four times by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.
McLeish admitted it was something of a gamble from Moyes to throw Lingard straight into the side and suggested he had made an immediate impact on the training ground.
McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “If he goes straight in then it’s because the manager, David Moyes, has seen what he can bring and he’s probably seen that in training in the build-up to the game.
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“It obviously wasn’t a lot of time to see Lingard with his West Ham teammates in just a few days and that’s a great credit to David Moyes to be bringing him in and just arriving at the club.
“Let’s face it, he could have come with his head down, struggling with his Man United existence over the last few months and I know there were injuries involved as well but for him to come in and, I don’t know, whether David had a pep talk with him or whether it’s just been inspirational and saying: ‘I’m going to put him right in.’
“Fornals was maybe needing a little bit of a rest. Fornals has kind of been a stop-start player anyway, so David, he couldn’t have asked for any better. What a result – I don’t mean the actual result, I mean what a result from the Lingard point of view.”
Fornals had started 19 of a possible 21 games in the Premier League this season before being dropped for Lingard.