Situations change rapidly in football. One moment you could be a hero, another moment you could be deemed surplus to requirements. This is associated with loss of form which may result from injuries or the aging curve. Robin Van Persie returned in the summer of 2015 with renewed energy and motivation to fight for his place at Manchester United after a dreadful first season under his former Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal. This was against the backdrop that Van Gaal had told him his services were no longer needed at United the following season.
Van Persie thought “I was still thinking we could come back from holiday and start from scratch. He had changed his mind about me before. When he took over Holland he said to me ‘You’re the No. 3 striker.’ I was ‘O…K…’ but I fought and became the No. 1 and his captain. But when I came back, it wasn’t an honest battle anymore. Fighting to get back in the team wasn’t given [to] me as an option. He was sending me to Pitch Two [reserves]”. Van Gaal had disregarded a key striker at the club and the same Van Persie whose 26 goals led Manchester United to their 20th Premier league trophy. The Dutch striker was soon shipped off to Fernabache.
These days, training with the reserve sides or youth teams is synonymous with a player who has deemed surplus to requirements as pointed out by Van Persie. Numerous examples can be cited such as the case between Felix Magath and Schweinsteiger at Bayern Munich, Victor Valdes and Van Gaal at Manchester United.
The latest is the trending case of the same German player, Schweinsteiger and Jose Mourinho. It is humiliating to demote a senior player who has achieved so much in their career to train with the youth team when he is not a disruptive influence.
Individuals involved in football just like any other profession need to be treated with respect and dignity. What’s the harm in allowing an ‘out of favor’ player train with the first team until he manages to find himself a new club? It is just right. It is just a petty attempt by coaches to lay down markers as to who the boss is.
It’s understandable that clubs have to get players off the wage bill especially if they are taking huge contracts and are unneeded but there should be a laid down protocol to deal with these situations. An example is to give these players an ultimatum of two weeks to find new clubs after which they would be banished to the youth side or worse.
Schweinsteiger barely reported back to training and after two days he was banished from the first-team. To make it worse according to reports, he is supposed to just train with the u-23 team and not take part in competitive matches. It is not impossible but I doubt how a 32-year-old veteran can find a club in 2 days.
It’s a loophole in the current game that managers can get away with mistreating players so easily. There are surely better ways of letting an experienced professional know his services are no longer needed.
Featured Image – All Rights Reserved by ninhthuan510.