Monday 23 November 2015

Basti's experience and intelligence making vital difference

What a huge, fundamental difference Bastian Schweinsteiger has made to this United side since his summer signing from Bayern Munich.

It's true that we have players who offer more pace and attacking threat that Schweinsteiger, but the German makes up for these shortcomings with an outstanding drive, vision and an incredible intelligence and awareness both on the ball and off it.

We didn't buy him to bang in 20 a season, we signed him for situations exactly like the one United were in on Saturday.
Cool and composed, Schweinsteiger is a class act.

He makes the crucial difference in tight matches- look no further than Watford as a prime example.
United lost the lead with three minutes to go and a young, injury-plagued side could have crumbled and gone under against a rejuvenated Hornets side pushing for a shock late win.

Step forward, Basti...

Along with David de Gea and Mike Smalling, the German was immense at Vicarage Road and kept an ice-cool head that belied the high-pressure situation.

Lifting and cajoling his team-mates, Schweinsteiger was not deflated and urged one final push from those in a Red shirt and how he delivered.

Our winner may have been credited as a Troy Deeney o.g, but it was effectively Basti's goal as it was he whom hassled and harried the Watford striker to force the ball into his own net under pressure. 

His awareness and intelligence to make the run, arrive in the box at the right moment and bring about the error from Deeney epitomised his qualities and showed his importance to the side. 

The match at Watford was one which United would not have won last season and Schweinsteiger was also impressive in last month's win at recent bogey ground Everton.

His understated but yet pivotal influence on this team is one of the factors why we've gone from top four hopefuls to genuine title contenders. 

The German has won everything there is to win in the game and yet rarely do you see him mentioned as a key man for the Reds, but his ability to dictate a game and make us tick with his distribution and vision has been crucial.

He is also United's captain in all but name- Wayne Rooney has the armband  and Mike may have filled in Wayne's absence on Saturday- but Schweinsteiger is a natural leader and is arguably United's biggest midfield influence since Roy Keane left in 2006.

Basti wheels away in euphoric delight after United snatched a late win at the weekend 

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