Missing out on a World Cup squad is a tough pill to swallow for any player. Especially those who have been playing with the international team in the lead-up but dropped from the tournament due to bad form.
Missing out due to injury, or due to a different playing style than what the manager prefers, is one thing. But missing out on a tournament as prestigious as this due to bad form is a completely different matter.
All blame lies on the player himself and no one else. It takes an immense mental toll when your opportunity, which so many beg for, is handed over to someone else due to your fault.
One such player who will not represent his country in Qatar is Jadon Sancho.
His stunning form in Germany, with Borussia Dortmund, earned him a move to Old Trafford last season and also made him a regular in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
His last three seasons in Dortmund saw him score 13, 20 and 16 goals. In contrast, his first season at United got only 5 goals. This season, the arrival of Antony, the revival of Rashford and the return of Martial and seen Sancho relegated to fleeting appearances and only 3 goals in 14 games.
His struggle meant Southgate was unwilling to gamble on the 22-year-old winger, leaving him out of the plane to Qatar.
His snubbing attracted a lot of trolling on social media.
When it comes to the international stage, Twitter has not been kind to the fleet-footed winger. He, along with Saka and Rashford, had to deal with significant racial abuse after their Euros finals loss in which he missed a penalty in the shootout.
It’s not just trollers. Companies too have made jokes at expense of the Manchester United player.
Adapting to a different league after a transfer, under changing managers, with different teammates, all coupled with a di may p in form and social media hate is a lot to comprehend for a youngster.
And it all may have reached a boiling point yesterday when he archived all posts on Instagram and replaced his profile picture with nothing but black colour.
Sancho wiped his Instagram account clean, for seemingly unknown reasons but has restricted this to IG only. His Twitter account remains as is.
Whether or not the internet trolling is the reason for the blackout remains to be seen, as the player is yet to clarify his actions thus far.
Sancho’s last Instagram story was him sharing a Forbes post appreciating family.
Is he going through a problem at home? Again, no one can say for sure.
What has happened since though, is fans rallying behind the player in support.
With no explanation offered from his camp, we can only guess what is happening. For all we know, it could be a marketing campaign announcing some new tie-up.
We surely do hope it is something as innocuous as that and not anything severe.
Stay strong, Jadon Sancho.