Manchester United outcast Bastian Schweinsteiger issued a statement yesterday, claiming United was the only club that could’ve persuaded him to leave Bayern Munich, but according to multiple reports, he hasn’t been pulling enough weight to deserve his place. According to these reports, Schweinsteiger spent last year’s major injury spell watching his newly wed wife, Ana Ivanovic, play tennis, instead of working on his fitness and being the leader he was recruited as while United’s faltering pursuit of top four ensued.
Instead of being a leader for the side, Schweinsteiger was apparently travelling the world with his wife, watching her play tennis and saving his best fitness for Euro 2016, where he looked noticeably better than he did for United. Watching Schweinsteiger roll back the years at the Euros was both enlightening and irritating for United fans.
One may argue this is just a report- however, Schweinsteiger was clearly not present when United needed him most, and he was spotted at various tennis games throughout the season, which only does more to prove the theory. When Luke Shaw got injured, he worked hard and did the graft until he was fitter than he was before the injury, and the same can’t be said about Schweinsteiger, who is probably training alone for more than one reason.
Schweinsteiger constantly leaving the club to go other places reportedly sparked dissent among other players, who believed he should’ve been focusing on his fitness. In addition, many journalists argue that Schweinsteiger received preferential treatment from former manager Louis van Gaal, a claim which is hardly difficult to believe considering all the strange happenings that occurred under van Gaal.
Considering this report was revealed shortly after Schweinsteiger’s twitter message to the fans, this is a saddening indictment of his time at United, putting it in the light of a payday instead of the dream he makes it sound like. The fact he’s being paid millions of pounds to be a key player for United, the fact he can leave to go watch tennis while still being paid ridiculous amounts of money is not just undisciplined, it’s unfair.
To conclude, whether or not Bastian Schweinsteiger wants it to be so, his United career appears to be over, and more and more evidence is suggesting that it is reasonably so. Instead of blaming Mourinho for mistreating him, which he hasn’t (considering that almost no one believes Pep Guardiola mistreated Joe Hart), we need to look at the facts.
Schweinsteiger isn’t fit enough to play for United anymore, and he struggles to get about the pitch when he is on it. The influence he had last season was highly overrated because he was the only midfielder who understood van Gaal’s negative tactics. The German has prioritized countless other personal endeavours while collecting a paycheck at United, and he was seemingly the only player offered such a luxury. Finally, Schweinsteiger’s age, fitness, and discipline are true pointers to the fact that, as much as we want him to be, Schweinsteiger just isn’t the player he used to be.