Bad news for Manchester United as their star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could face a three-match suspension for his alleged elbow on West Ham captain Winston Reid.
The New Zealand defender accused Schweinsteiger of elbowing him straight into the face during Manchester United’s goalless draw with West Ham on Saturday, as television cameras reportedly showing the United star driving his forearm into Reid’s throat.
However, Referee Mark Clattenburg didn’t see the incident, which happened just before the halftime whistle, nor did Clattenburg’s assistants, which means retrospective action can be taken by FA, reports Daily Mirror.
However, Marouane Fellaini will eventually escape punishment for his apparent stamp on James Tomkins as the match officials saw the incident.
The British publication claimed the FA will confirm with Referee Clattenburg whether he didn’t see the incident before a three-man panel of former referees examine the video evidence of the match.
If the three-man panel unanimously agrees that the German should have been sent off, Schweinsteiger will be suspended for Manchester United’s next three fixtures.
After the weekend match at Old Trafford, where West Ham skipper Reid played exceptionally well, he was in no doubt that the German midfielder should have been showed red card following the incident.
“It was a red card,” Reid said. “He knows what he’s done – he’s elbowed me in the face. The referee couldn’t see it, so we move on.”
Reid was also backed by his manager Slaven Bilic, who went on saying: “I saw it on the replays at halftime. It was a red, a big-time red. I understand the decision but it was a crucial moment. I can’t blame the referee.”
However, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal also apparently not happy with Schweinsteiger as he thinks the German has under-performed “in every match” this term since his arrival at Old Trafford in the summer.
United paid almost £6million to bring in Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich, and the German managed to feature in all 23 of United’s matches so far this season, an astonishing figure only Chris Smalling can match.
But the Dutch manager now believes there is plenty of room for the veteran midfielder to improve on his performances.
“The reason why we have bought Schweinsteiger is because he’s a player who can lead and guide a team,” Van Gaal clarrified.
“It’s not just because of his football abilities that we bought him. Until now we haven’t seen the best of Schweinsteiger, the player I saw at Bayern Munich.
“I believe that in every match we have played he could have played better.”
Van Gaal would not reveal exactly what aspects of Schweinsteiger’s game the midfielder needs to improve on, adding: “I think I have to discuss with Bastian Schweinsteiger and not with you.
“Otherwise we have a tactical article about Bastian and then the reaction of the legends to that article so I don’t think that is wise. But I know he can be better.”