Bastian Schweinsteiger believes Anthony Martial can become one of Manchester United's "best players" with confidence and the right guidance.

Despite sustaining a hamstring injury during pre-season, Martial has registered four goals and two assists in seven appearances this term.

The forward will hope to feature when United to return to action against Burnley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

Schweinsteiger played alongside Martial at Old Trafford for just under two seasons, the latter marking his debut with a stunning individual goal in a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in September 2015.

The former Germany international is confident the 27-year-old can shine under Erik ten Hag. 

"His potential is immense," Schweinsteiger told MUTV. "I remember very well when he arrived at United, and he scored the goal against Liverpool in a special way.

"With him, you need to give him confidence. But you also need to push him sometimes, and then he can be one of the best players.

"But he has to understand that first, and that’s the job of the coaches and also the team-mates.

"If you play with someone like him, you want to see the quality of this player all the time. You expect it because you know what this player is able to do.

"When I played with him, my goal was always to put him in the right position with the ball. So, to give him the ball in the right moments where he can show his abilities the most.

"Like one against one, one against two, with the ball, facing the opponents' goal.

"They are the moments he [is] waiting for, and then he's actually producing. At the end of the day, what matters for him is goals and assists."

Louis van Gaal entertained the media in Doha on Thursday as he responded to criticism from Angel Di Maria by showing his close bond with Memphis Depay, another of his former Manchester United players.

Netherlands coach Van Gaal signed Di Maria at United, but the Argentina international struggled to settle in the Premier League.

The winger, who hopes to face Van Gaal's Oranje at the World Cup on Friday, subsequently described the ex-United manager as "the worst coach of my career".

Van Gaal was offered a reminder of this comment at his pre-match news conference, but he was in jovial mood as he responded sat next to Depay.

"Angel Di Maria is simply a really good football player," Van Gaal said to an increasingly amused press room.

"At the time when he played for Manchester, he had a lot of personal issues, there was a break-in at his house. That also affected his fitness that year.

"The fact he would refer to me as the worst trainer, that is one of the very few players that ever said that. Usually it is the other way around.

"So, I think that is sad. I don't like that Angel said that on one occasion. It is a pity, but that's just the way it is.

"A head coach sometimes needs to take decisions that don't always end well. There's someone next to me here, Memphis Depay, and the same happened to him.

"Memphis also played for Manchester, and now we kiss each other, mouth-to-mouth. No, we're not going to do that now.

"That's just how things pan out in football. People are laughing now, but I didn't select Memphis for the [FA Cup] final – now that's not nice.

"Believe me, a head coach doesn't do this without a reason. It may well have been a wrong decision, but just look at how we are dealing with each other, working with each other now. Things are quite different.

"I'm not allowed to kiss him on the mouth, he doesn't want that, quite unfortunate, but it's fine by me."

Van Gaal was also asked about Bastian Schweinsteiger, who played for him both at United and at Bayern Munich.

Schweinsteiger's Germany eliminated Argentina from three consecutive World Cups between 2006 and 2014, and he has been in contact with Van Gaal.

"That is private. I'm sorry, it's private. I cannot say anything about that," Van Gaal said of their conversations. "I just think it's great that he's doing this.

"I ask him as well, because he's a reporter now and sees all these matches, and he was a player with brains. Football is being played with brains.

"I do learn things that my scouts have not said so far, which is positive. He is a fan of the Netherlands now that Germany is out."

Bastian Schweinsteiger criticised Germany's defence after a shock 2-1 defeat in their World Cup opener against Japan on Wednesday.

The former Germany international and 2014 World Cup winner singled out Niklas Sule, who was utilised at right-back by head coach Hansi Flick instead of his usual position as centre-back.

Germany took the lead through an Ilkay Gundogan penalty in the first half, before goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano dramatically turned things around in the second.

Speaking to German broadcaster ARD, Schweinsteiger said: "We made big mistakes again in defence, and as long as we do that we will lose games, it's that simple!"

The former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder then went into detail on Doan's equaliser, highlighting Sule and substitute Leon Goretzka.

"Now, please, let's pay attention to the behaviour of Niklas Sule and Leon Goretzka," he said.

"Niklas Sule is a defender. And if someone comes at you in a one-on-one, you don't let them run inside, but close the inside lane and let them run out – less can happen there.

"Sule gives [Kaoru Mitoma] the chance to pull inside and play the pass. Goretzka doesn't get there after that and then stops.

"I don't like that. This is not good. This is very, very bad. Sure, the ball then deflects to Doan, but I didn't like the behaviour before that.

"That wasn't good enough for a defender like Sule. It's a classic, really serious defensive mistake."

As Schweinsteiger continued, suggesting Borussia Dortmund defender Sule should have been more aware of the positioning of centre-back pair Antonio Rudiger and Nico Schlotterbeck, fellow pundit and former Germany international Sami Khedira agreed, saying: "That's a very blatant mistake.

"As a full-back away from the ball, you always have to look to the central defenders for orientation."

Former Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger described the Red Devils as being in "survival mode" during their 2-1 win over Liverpool, insisting Erik ten Hag will not be entirely satisfied with their performance.

United bounced back from consecutive defeats against Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford in impressive fashion on Monday, dealing Liverpool their first league defeat of 2022 through goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

The result eased the pressure that had already begun to build around Ten Hag, who is the first United boss to claim his maiden victory in the job against Liverpool.

But Schweinsteiger, who made 35 appearances for United between 2015 and 2017, believes the manner of United's win may not have impressed Ten Hag.

United recorded just 29.6 per cent of possession at Old Trafford and allowed Liverpool 17 shots to their 12, and Schweinsteiger says they remain a long way from competing with the best.

"I support United of course and I'm very happy they won the match," he told BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday.

"But was it a great performance? In my opinion, if I compare it with other teams, the top teams in Europe, I wouldn't say so. 

"For me, Liverpool were the better team, they had much more of the ball and possession in the game.

"But United did one thing very well, and that was to have the right attitude towards the game, they had the right spirit in the team. 

"If I compare it to the top football in Europe, it's not on that level. Against the ball they were doing very well; fighting, running, they had the right attitude. 

"But after 20 minutes, Liverpool were the better team, definitely. They couldn't finish their last passes otherwise they would have won the game."

Schweinsteiger knows Ten Hag from the Dutchman's time coaching Bayern Munich II between 2013 and 2015 and insists he is the right man to bring success to Old Trafford, though he feels United are yet to adapt to his style of play.

"I think they have got a very good manager now with Erik ten Hag, I know him quite well from Munich because he was our second team manager back in the day," he added.

"I think they have the right man in that position. But was it the way United want to play football? I don't think so, it was survival mode. 

"In the long term, he definitely wants to have a team that plays a different kind of football. It will take some time but definitely he is the right man for that position."

Ten Hag made several big calls when selecting his team for the game, leaving out club captain Harry Maguire and talismanic striker Cristiano Ronaldo as Bruno Fernandes was handed the armband.

Fernandes looked rejuvenated after his quiet start to the season, recording a team-high 66 touches and creating two chances on Monday, the joint-most among United players.

And while Schweinsteiger was impressed with the midfielder's display, he highlighted the need for United to fit both him and Ronaldo into a coherent system.

Asked whether the duo could play together, he said: "Well they're both Portuguese so I don't know, it's tricky for the national team then! There, they have to play together.

"You definitely see that Bruno Fernandes was running a lot, he made metres and metres and metres. 

"But if you have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, you have to know what you get and what to expect. He's not the player who runs a lot defensively, but he scores you 15 goals. So, you have to know that."

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