Schweinsteiger 'not player he was at Bayern': United's Van Gaal

AFP , Wednesday 9 Dec 2015

Bastian Schweinsteiger
Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger (Reuters)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has repeated his opinion that Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is not the player he was at Bayern Munich following the club's Champions League exit.

United crashed out of Europe's top club competition on Tuesday with a 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg, which left them third in the group and means they drop into the Europa League.

Van Gaal reiterated his pre-match comments that Schweinsteiger, 31, is not playing as well as he did during his 14 years at Bayern, the club he left for Old Trafford before the start of the season.

Schweinsteiger was taken off with 20 minutes to go in Wolfsburg.

"I took him off and I don't take players off for nothing, but we are all human beings and so is Bastian Schweinsteiger," said Van Gaal.

"He wants to play at the highest level, especially in Germany, to show his qualities, but I can't say he was the Bastian Schweinsteiger I saw during my Bayern Munich days.

"I'm sure he will show his strengths this season," added the Dutchman.

Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler stuck up for his Germany team-mate and says Schweinsteiger has more than enough experience to cope with a slump in form at United.

"I believe Basti has experienced so much in his career that he can cope with this easily," said Draxler.

"I have absolutely no concerns about that."

Draxler sent Schweinsteiger the wrong way in the build-up for his side's second goal scored by Portugal's Vieirinha, which put the hosts 2-1 ahead.

"We talked about it during the game, because he went the wrong way," said Draxler. "It was good for us."

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he was disappointed with Van Gaal, who coached Schweinsteiger at Bayern between 2009 and 2011.

"He was the one who wanted him (Schweinsteiger) and Bastian needs a bit of time (to adjust)," Rummenigge told Sport Bild.

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