The Dutch manager told Bastian he had to improve earlier in the season as he wasn’t convinced that he was offering the team his all and has continued to isolate the midfielder for criticism.
The 31-year-old was substituted last night midway through the second half due to a poor performance and van Gaal has gone as far as to say Schweinsteiger isn’t the player he remembers from his time at Bayern Munich.
Explaining Schweinsteiger’s substitution, van Gaal said: “I have changed [replaced] him and I don’t change players for nothing. Then I think I can do it with other players better. We are all human beings and also Bastian is a human being, and he wants to play at the highest level and certainly in Germany to show his qualities. I cannot say that he was the Schweinsteiger from my period in Munich in this game.”
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Schweinsteiger isn’t the same player as he was at Bayern Munich but we have to play to his strengths.
Playing him alongside Marouane Fellaini and expecting him to succeed in a running midfield role just isn’t going to work out is it? His two worst performances have come against Arsenal and Wolfsburg when he was expected to play an all-round midfield role which included running about – go figure.
Yes, Schweinsteiger isn’t the midfielder he was from his time at Bayern Munich but van Gaal isn’t the same manager either. After crashing out of the Champions League, United need to start winning games again to stop the rut but with Bastian likely to be banned for the next three games, we’ll have to do it without him.