“Not just the manager’s fault” – Man Utd flop admits he’s angry at himself

General view of a corner flag before the match.

REUTERS/Andrew Yates

The Theatre of Dreams isn’t an easy place for the away side to go. And it’s equally daunting for new Manchester United players, especially if things aren’t smooth sailing behind the scenes.

Transition periods under different managers since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement have seen several players lose their way at Old Trafford despite arriving at United on the back of impressive performances for their previous clubs.

Morgan Schneiderlin is one such player who couldn’t handle the weight of expectation at United and is now left ruing the missed opportunity.

In 2015, the French midfielder joined United in a £25m move from Southampton. The arrival of one of the Premier League’s highest-rated midfielders at the time alongside Bayern Munich legend Bastian Schweinsteiger painted a very hopeful picture for the side’s midfield.

18 months later, Schneiderlin found himself at Everton with his former Southampton boss Ronaldo Koeman after failing to find his feet under Louis van Gaal and his successor Jose Mourinho.

Now, the 33-year-old admits he’s angry at himself for “retreating into his shell” in Manchester.

“‘I was too affected by what [manager] Louis van Gaal was asking from me,” Schneiderlin told the Daily Mail.

“I lost me as a player. It was not me on the field. It was not just the manager’s fault, it was my fault, too. My role was not the one I had at Southampton. I felt restricted in my game. I felt they wanted to change things in me. I was not thinking as me, I was thinking about what pleased the coach.”

Schneiderlin believes he joined “the biggest club in the world” at the “wrong time”. The once-dynamic midfielder never managed to find his Southampton form. After another disappointing spell, he returned to France with OGC Nice before joining Western Sydney Wanderers on loan.

Schweinsteiger – the other half of ‘Schmidfield’ – moved to the MLS two months later before announcing his retirement in 2019.