Louis van Gaal's criticism of Bastian Schweinsteiger 'unfortunate', says Oliver Bierhoff
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 24/02/16 6:25pm
Germany national team general manager Oliver Bierhoff has described Louis van Gaal's past criticism of midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as "unfortunate".
The Manchester United manager said in December that the 31-year-old was not the player he remembered from his time as Bayern Munich manager, and also said earlier this month that he expected more from him because the Dutchman's standards were high.
Schweinsteiger has made 27 appearances in all competitions for United this season, starting 15 of those since his move from Bayern in the summer, and Bierhoff believes the national team captain's place in the Germany side for Euro 2016 is not under threat.
When asked about Schweinsteiger, Bierhoff told Bild: "Every player needs the backing of the coach, the same goes for Bastian. Generally, I find it unfortunate if a coach publicly criticises a player so hard.
"I think with the prospect of participating as a captain in a European Championship, motivation and concentration will come back [for Schweinsteiger].
"On Bastian's position, competition is keen, which we already say from the World Cup. I assume that Bastian will be at the Euros. He is an important part of the team."
A knee injury has kept Schweinsteiger out of action since early January, but Germany manager Joachim Low insists he is not concerned ahead of the tournament in France, and is in constant contact with him.
"I am in constant contact with Bastian. His current injury doesn't worry me. Generally speaking, I think it's good if players are able to completely recover from their injuries.
"I know Bastian is absolutely focused on the Euros, and I have every confidence that he will prepare thoroughly and do anything for it. He is in our plans."
Van Gaal had said in December: "I cannot say that he was the Schweinsteiger from my period in Munich today," before adding earlier this month: "During December I said that I expect more and he was very disappointed I said that, but I think I can say that because my expectation is higher."