Monday 13 July 2015

Schweinsteiger: Deep lying anchor in the Robson mould

Bastian Schweinsteiger is a player whom United have been crying out for: an experienced and inspirational leader with an impressive reading of the game and a superb footballing intelligence that has made him one of the most decorated players around, both on the domestic and international stage.

Some may point to the fact that he's almost 31 and a player whose best days are behind him: I disagree, for his role in this United side is one that will befit the latter years of his career.

A deep-lying central defensive midfielder and the first German to play for the Reds, his distribution, energy and leadership qualities will hold the engine room together, drive United forward and create space for the team's attacking creative talents.

The biggest asset that Bastian will bring to United is his leadership (as captain of the World champions, Schweinsteiger will not be phased by the pressure of a transfer to Old Trafford).

Although Wayne Rooney looks set to retain the captain's armband and rightly so, recent history tells us that United's best natural leaders have been those that have played in the same position as Schweinsteiger (Bryan Robson and Roy Keane as two obvious examples).

Rooney is a fine skipper, as was Nemanja Vidic, but Schweinsteiger's technical brain, experience and communication, as well the ability to dictate the tone and tempo of the entire match from deep, makes him captaincy material in every sense, our captain and leader without the armband. 

As good as Michael Carrick has been for United- and he is hugely under-rated- he is now 34, has struggled with injury and can't be relied upon to stay fit week in, week out.
With the additions of Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, we've got cover for Carrick (or maybe he's the cover for them) and, for the first time since Robson- and latterly Keane- retired, we've not only got bags of experience and know how in the midfield "anchor" role, but depth and quality in abundance. 

Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin are likely to be paired together in defensive midfield, with one sitting deep and stopping opposition attacks while the other pushes forward- with Carrick an able deputy in the event of injury or squad rotation (Schweinsteiger and Carrick surely will not play together, as they are too similar in style and stature). 

Bastian Schweinsteiger is, in my view, the best signing we've made in years and is the perfect fit for a midfield that was in desperate need of surgery- now, however, it's in good hands. 

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