Manchester United’s latest high-profile signing Bastian Schweinsteiger has been used to praise from all corners throughout his stellar career with Bayern Munich and Germany.
Now he may just have met his match.
United manager Louis van Gaal, not one to shy away from speaking his mind, was unhappy with the 30-year-old’s performance in the 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat of San Jose Earthquakes yesterday.
“The first half I was satisfied. The players have performed what we wanted in the defensive organisation and they have created 10 chances and they scored two goals so I was satisfied. You can always be better but I was satisfied,” said the Dutchman.
“In the second half, we played very badly, with a lot of ball losses, and the only highlight was the goal from Pereira. We did not give many chances away but we gave possibilities away. There was always a threat and that was not necessary.
“He (Schweinsteiger) was also bad… players can play badly, certainly when you have only three days or six days of training sessions in your legs, and you have to play 45 minutes.”
Schweinsteiger was playing his second match in a row for United from the substitutes’ bench – again coming on at half-time – after his new club’s 1-0 win over Club America in Seattle last week.
Van Gaal will be expecting to see more from the World Cup winner however when United begin their Premier League campaign against Tottenham on August 8.
“Everybody can think it is easy to step in but it is not easy. In the first match, he [Schweinsteiger] played very well and now he played badly,” said the 63-year-old.
“That is also a process, certainly when you’ve only had one week of training.”
There were several positives for United and Van Gaal as Juan Mata notched up another goal to open their account against San Jose before Memphis Depay scored his maiden goal for the club as he took full advantage of a poor back pass nine minutes before the break.
Despite 10 second-half changes from Van Gaal – arguably the catalyst for United’s disjointed second 45 minutes – there was a further milestone when Andreas Pereira scored his first senior goal with a header to give the Red Devils breathing space again.
Fatai Alashe had scored for the hosts before half-time to reduce their arrears.
United next play European champions Barcelona in Santa Clara on July 25 before their final match of the tournament against Paris St Germain on July 29 in Chicago.
Image courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC via YouTube, with thanks.