Bastian Schweinsteiger says being at Manchester United is a “perfect experience” despite the criticism of his form and the club’s current struggles.
United slumped to a fourth successive league defeat at Stoke on Saturday – their worst run of form in one season since 1961 – prompting further question marks over the future of manager Louis van Gaal.
Van Gaal has been critical of Schweinsteiger’s form since the Germany captain swapped Bayern Munich for Old Trafford during the close season, but the 31-year-old insists he is enjoying life in England.
He told www.dfb.de: “Manchester is just a perfect experience that has enriched my professional life tremendously.
“Bayern Munich, the Germany national team and Manchester United – these are my three teams. Had someone told me that 16 years ago I would have taken it!
“I like Manchester. There are many nice people here, good restaurants. I feel good.”
Schweinsteiger has noticed differences between the Bundesliga, in which Bayern have dominated in recent years, and the Premier League, adding: “The physicality [in England] is extremely high. The teams in the bottom third of the table require everything [to beat them]. The level of performance from one team to another is closer. And the crowds always urge their team forward.”
Schweinsteiger has not, however, been surprised with the methods employed by Dutchman Van Gaal.
“His style of play is known to me,” he said. “We have worked together at Bayern Munich. Although I am experienced I am still young enough to adjust to new things.
“We are a team under construction and have to find what is right this season. In the league we are on target but going out of the Champions League was a big disappointment.”
Germany boss Joachim Low recently defended Schweinsteiger against accusations he was too slow and ponderous to be a success in England and Low’s assistant Thomas Schneider has also waded in to the argument.
“I’ve seen games where I’ve had the feeling he is not fully integrated into the gameplan,” he told the Abendzeitung.
“It seems that the team does not use his potential enough. He could give them a lot more.”