The Schweinsteiger conundrum and some HR perspectives

The Schweinsteiger saga continues. And we do not know how it is going to end. Or if it is going to end anytime soon.

After being on the sideline since Jose Mourinho took over as the manager of Manchester United, Schweinsteiger has fallen out of favor. That is until recently.

Mourinho made it amply clear that Schweinsteiger does not have a place in the first-team. So he was made to train either alone or with the under-23 side.  

While all this was going on, Schweinsteiger remained tight-lipped.  And when he did speak, there was no negativity.  He did admit (and so did Mourinho) that he had a discussion with the manager. That he did not have any problems with the manager. He expressed his wish to still play for the club, if given a chance.    

His conduct amidst all this has been amazing.

He has acted in a dignified manner throughout.

In a manner befitting his stature as World Cup winner, as someone who was the captain of his national team till recently.  

He posts pictures of himself at Man U games. He wishes the team on his social media account on the day they are to play their matches.

The cynic amongst us would say it is all about money. Some on social media did point about the ‘m’ factor, mentioning that it is the only reason Schweinsteiger is hanging around and taking all the humiliation and insults by staying put. Probably, it is about money. However, he still has the contract and he is honoring it.   

While the world of football in a way is different to the corporate world, so the comparison may not exactly apply. But let us try to evaluate it through the HR prism of the corporate world.  Because some of the things still are applicable.  

We are all wondering Schweinsteiger’s reaction to the whole situation. However, his reaction should not surprise us. For those of us in the corporate world, we would know a bit about this.

Firstly, how many times we are told not to bad-mouth our employers, especially during an interview? 

Secondly, would we quit our job if we don’t have another in hand? No, right?  Isn’t he doing the same?

Thirdly, we would want something better than what we are getting. Maybe the scenario would be slightly different in case of a sportsperson. Or in this case with Schweinsteiger considering he is on the other side of 30, plus has been out because of injury and probably not at the top of his game.  Still, he would want to negotiate and get the best deal possible, with whatever he has to offer in terms of his experience, both as a player and a leader.  

We do not know the details of his contract. However, it is no-win situation for him and even for the club.

In short, Schweinsteiger is doing what most of us would do in our jobs:

Honor the current contract.

Find another job before quitting the current job, and if possible with better terms and conditions.

Do not bad mouth your current/former employer to your new employer (for Schweinsteiger this could be more than one club/employer).

Continue to maintain good relations with everyone around. After all the football world is small. He could end up working with some of the folks from Man U down the road.

Most importantly, he has remain positive throughout. His positive attitude is really admirable. There is no negativity or bitterness shown by him, at least not publicly. Not yet.  

And this is good. Because, in the long run, talent aside, it is your attitude that is going to keep you in good stead.  


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