Morgan Schneiderlin has hit out at Louis van Gaal for “restricting” the way Machester United play during his time at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman was signed by Van Gaal from Southampton in 2015 alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger as United looked to revamp their midfield.
Schneiderlin struggled to hit the heights that had seen him impress at St Mary’s and was then sold to Everton 18 months later.
In a revealing interview, the midfielder, now playing for Nice in Ligue 1 under Patrick Vieira, has criticised Van Gaal for his strict methods whilst at Old Trafford, which sapped the confidence of Schneilderin.
He told The Athletic: “He [Van Gaal] wanted me too but we had less connection on the phone. So I signed more for the football club, Manchester United, than the manager.
“We were told: ‘When you have the ball you have to do this’, instead of playing with my gut like I had done with Pochettino and Koeman.
“The worse thing for a football player is when you think too much. I started to think: ‘Ah, the manager wants me to do this’.
“You lose your instinct, your start to force things, you miss passes, you arrive too late for a challenge. Your confidence goes down.
“I would play a very good game and then a very bad game. I wasn’t confident enough. I started to complain to my wife. It hurts me even now that I couldn’t play freely at United,” he added.
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“The pressure of the club was no problem to me. I like pressure, I need pressure and adrenaline. The fans were good to me in the street.
“The problem was me because I knew I had so much to give but I couldn’t give it because I felt restricted.
“Looking back, I shouldn’t have been so upset, but at the time that’s how it was. You had to wait until the manager told you that you could eat.
“These things work when the players are 19 and 20, but not when you have older players.”