Rio Ferdinand: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin offer ‘zero threat’

by Ben Topliss

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United midfield duo Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin pose “zero threat” to opponents.

Louis van Gaal employs Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin in defensive roles at Man United, a tactic which critics say has contributed to some of the side’s limp attacking performances this term.

Ferdinand insisted he would “not be worried” if he had to line up against the pair as they don’t offer a threat going forward.

“If I’m a central midfielder facing [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, I would not be worried. They pose zero threat,” Ferdinand said.

“They are not players who can pass the ball like Paul Scholes or Andrea Pirlo and they don’t get forward. They just sit in front of the back four venturing forward for set-pieces. I have no idea from one week to the next which United will turn up. Every time I see signs of progress like with the display at Watford I’m immediately let down again. It is one step forward and two steps back.”

Even in games where United are strong favourites, van Gaal continues to use two defensive midfielders rather than putting more players up top.

The Dutchman favours a slow, possession-based approach to games and playing both Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger contributes enormously to that. However, it comes at the cost of a more dynamic style up front. Perhaps van Gaal needs to drop one or the other if his side are to play more entertaining football.

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