Paul Parker, a former Manchester United defender has said a lot about his former club this week, comments varying about Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba and much more, some bitter, some truthful and some that give some food for thought. This time, the former defender has weighed in about the treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger after being told that he was not part of Jose Mourinho’s plans this season and him being resigned to train with the reserves. Whilst this may seem harsh, a player who has not future at the club under the new manager would not be training with the first team as he would them become an extra in something which he was not going to be part of.Paul Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport
Schweinsteiger is a legend of the game, but his last season, his first at the club, he was hardly a player that sealed his place in the team and avoided injury. For much of the season, he was on the sidelines, ending the season on the treatment table, but then recovered in time to represent Germany in the European Championships this summer. I remember comments at the time with many slating him for not being available to play for his club, but seemingly pulling out all of the stops to represent Germany. I do not think it was like that, injuries are not something you can always put a date on them being over by and it seemed to be the case that his recovery was timed with the Euro’s commencing.Paul Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport
Schweinsteiger, despite winning the FIFA World Cup two years ago, was not a player who was at the top of his game. Bayern Munich sold him, despite suggesting they did so reluctantly, they still sold him. That meant he was not actually in their plans last season. That would say a lot. When United manager Louis van Gaal signed the German, I was quite happy as it meant that United had the strongest midfield since the departure of Roy Keane more than a decade before. United had already signed Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera, which gave a decent amount of depth in the squad, also adding Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini. Paul Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport spoke about the treatment of Schweinsteiger, saying:
“There is no way Sir Alex would treat someone like Schweinsteiger is being treated. He would be told he can leave but treated with respect and still involved in training as long as he had the right professional attitude. Mourinho never gave Schweinsteiger the opportunity to be professional about the situation. He just said ‘You’re not in my plans so you train with the kids’. That’s great for the kids but even they will be wondering why this World Cup winner is training with them.
“You would have to say something against him or be derogatory towards Manchester United for Sir Alex to ever treat someone badly. The records show it. Then you leave very quickly like with Jaap Stam.”
Sir Alex Ferguson was no pushover. He got rid of Roy Keane and Jaap Stam, among many others for reasons such as disrespecting their teammates on MUTV and allegations made in an autobiography. Whilst the reasons may have seemed trivial at the time, it would be seen as a negative on the most watched football club in England and the media would have had a field day if nothing was done. It also showed some disrespect to the gaffer, who was not the type of guy to suffer fools gladly. The Schweinsteiger scenario is completely different. With all managers who take over clubs, some players are in their plans, others are not. That is all part and parcel of the game. Every player should know that. Whilst Schweinsteiger is a professional, he’s not the type of player Mourinho feels he should build his team around. United have the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Morgan Schneiderlin, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick in midfield, all of which offer something different. Adding Schweinsteiger to that list would possibly be one too many and with his injury prone debut season, which will have gone against him, the manager made his mind up.
Many see this as something similar to the Victor Valdes scenario, who spent all of last season training with the reserves after refusing to play for them the season before, at a time where he should have been building up his fitness. This never came out until the pre-season tour of the United States of America in which Valdes was left out of the squad for. Van Gaal told the media when asked and gave his reasons as to why. Many saw red with the news and defended the goalkeeper, as in their eyes he could do nothing wrong. The same seems to be happening right now with Schweinsteiger. How do people expect him to be treated? Put him in the first team, let him train with the first team, but just not pick him for any matches. That would not be fair and much like this scenario, the media would be all over it criticising United, as that is what seems to bring in the money for them. Everyone likes to read about United, whether positive or negative. Hated, adored and never ignored.
I am sure Mourinho will have told Schweinsteiger politely, not just said you are not in my plans, you are now training with the reserves. Nothing like that will be passed onto the media, they will just get a sniff of the story and react negatively to it, as that seems to be good journalism these days. Look at Joe Hart and Yaya Toure of Manchester City, they have effectively been dropped with the former on his way out of the club, yet nothing slating the club for doing that. If United get negative press for telling a player they are not in their plans, why don’t City. Both players have achieved things with the club, more than Schweinsteiger has done for United! At the end of the day, Schweinsteiger can say he has played for Manchester United, keep his head held high about that. He is a legend of the game, but also one who is in his twilight years and deteriorating. He was a good option last season, much like Radamel Falcao was the summer before, but much like the Colombian, it just did not work out for the German.