One might expect a player who has been frozen out and told to find a new club by his employer would retreat into the shadows of social media, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is doing the exact opposite. And it’s becoming uncomfortable for everyone.
It started with Schweini drawing attention to the fact that he wasn’t even on the bench for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial. “Great to be back at Old Trafford” he says, sitting alone in the corner of the director’s box. His smile just doesn’t compute. It’s like seeing someone kick back and relax inside a burning building.
This was followed by a tweet congratulating Man United on winning the Community Shield in a way that conveyed total detachment from the team.
Forced to train alone, Schweinsteiger then posted a picture of himself wandering the streets of Manchester by himself after his solo workout. The message paired with it unnervingly positive.
As the Premier League season kicked off, Schweinsteiger remained in exile and intent on live-tweeting his separation from the team.
At this point, he was so unrelentingly positive that it can only be read as intense passive-aggression. And yet, the tweets keep coming. His latest showed him in the stands at Old Trafford, watching Man United beat Southampton 2–0 and giving a thumbs up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to buy his own ticket. It’s like he’s a ghost, refusing to move on to the afterlife and determined to haunt the club for the rest of eternity with his guilt-inducing cheeriness.
I imagine Schweinsteiger greeting Jose Mourinho every morning at Man United’s training complex like everything is perfectly fine between them.
Schweinsteiger: Good morning, boss!
Mourinho: I told you not to speak to me.
Schweinsteiger: Great win last night! You’re really turning this club around!
Mourinho: Leave, Bastian. Leave now.
Schweinsteiger: You know, those seats about 40 rows up are really comfortable! I bought a season ticket so I never miss a game!
Mourinho: Just say that you hate me and you wish I never came here, Bastian! Say it!
Schweinsteiger: Don’t be silly. I love you, boss! I love everyone! I’m going to stay here forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever…