Former Manchester United player Morgan Schneiderlin has laid bare his regrets at how his time at Old Trafford panned out.
Schneiderlin joined the Red Devils from Southampton in the summer of 2015 and was widely tipped to hit the ground running at the Theatre of Dreams after a successful tenure with the Saints.
However, things did not go according to plan for the Frenchman who did not have the desired impact.
A mixture of things, including the drop-off in standards after the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the pressure of playing at a club the size of United, worked to render Schneiderlin a flop.
He left just 18 months later to join Everton.
In an exclusive Daily Mail interview, Schneiderlin revealed that the trajectory of his career at United should have been different and he massively regrets not living up to his potential.
He said, “‘I know if I played to my full potential, with freedom, I would not be in Australia right now. Maybe I would still be at Manchester United. When I signed, I wanted to be a legend there. That is why I am mad with myself and it will be hard until the end of my life.
“My friends ask, ‘Why are you saying this?’ But I know myself and what I can bring. I know this time at Manchester United affected me for the longest period in my career.
“I was so frustrated I couldn’t give what I wanted. I had a period after at Everton when I didn’t lose the fire, but I lost a little bit inside me, I am not going to hide that. I should have managed it better.”
Schneiderlin divulged that in hindsight, he did not clearly think before making the switch to Goodison Park. He remarked that after working for many years to make it to a club like United, he should have put up more of a fight to earn his place in the side and make his mark.
“You work so hard to be at the top, top level. A lot of people were telling me I would be one of the top players in the world. I had the gut feeling that I had everything to be a top player in the world. Not being able to reach that level will stay with me forever.”
Schneiderlin told The Daily Mail that his biggest problem at United was the way Louis van Gaal wanted him to play. As per the current Western Sydney Wanderers star, he felt that Van Gaal’s demands restricted him from playing his best football. He felt restricted by the Dutchman’s tactics and observed that they were actively trying to change him.
Under Van Gaal, the ex-United man felt like “he lost himself.”
Nevertheless, the 33-year-old acknowledged that United is still undoubtedly the biggest club in the world. He however pointed out that while he was there, conditions were not the most conducive for a £25m signing not to thrive.
“The training ground needed to be more modern and other things needed to change. You could feel the atmosphere at the club wasn’t great.
“I was very surprised, I was thinking, sometimes: Come on, we are all playing for Manchester United, we should smile every day, of course, there is high pressure but you need to be strong to play.”
Schneiderlin also played for French club Nice and shed light on what a United under the control of Sir Jim Ratcliffe would look like.
The INEOS billionaire is the primary custodian of the Ligue 1 outfit.
Schneiderlin only had good things to say about Ratcliffe and he mentioned that as a United fan, a scenario in which the 70-year-old is in charge would be good.
“His brother (Bob) was very involved in the club in my first season but then took a step back. But when we saw Jim Ratcliffe, he was a gentleman. You don’t think he’s a billionaire. He is so normal, so nice and good. He came a few times to speak to us, especially last year before the final of the French Cup.
“It was clear he wanted the best for Nice. I know he is a Manchester United fan, so we will see what happens.”
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