LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 10 – France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin says his wife Camille helped him revive his career at Premier League side Everton after his popularity with the fans plumbed the depths last season.
The 28-year-old — who joined Everton from Manchester United in 2017 for a reported £20 million ($25.8 million) — became a focal point for fans’ anger as despite millions being spent under manager Ronald Koeman they failed to spark.
However, Schneiderlin — who had flourished under Koeman at his first English club, Southampton — told The Times on Monday that Camille gave him some sound advice after he was roundly booed by the Everton fans when he was sent on as a substitute against Crystal Palace in February this year.
His image with them had been tarnished by a nightmare few days in November.
He was sent off in a Europa League match with Lyon and then dropped for the following game against Watford by interim manager David Unsworth, who had filled the breach when Koeman was sacked, with rumours that he had walked off the training ground in a huff when he was omitted from the matchday squad.
“My wife is very supportive of me,” Schneiderlin said.
“She said: ‘You have to show them who you are.’
“Maybe it was a time to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Why? Why did this happen?’.”
Schneiderlin, capped 15 times, said it helped him also talking to his inner circle as they pulled no punches either.
“As well as my wife, I had a long chat with my best friends, my parents, my agent,” he said.
“They are not the type of guys who say, ‘Oh Morgan, you are the most beautiful. Oh Morgan, you are the best.’
“They say (honest) things to me. I agreed with them. I didn’t have the best season.”
Schneiderlin, who has one assist to his name this season in three league appearances after having none to his credit last term in 30 matches, says the fans wrongly gained the impression that he was not dedicated to the club.
“It eats me like crazy because the most frustrating thing is that image is not myself,” he said.
“I am an honest guy who works very, very hard.
“I can have a bad game, or a bad performance, but putting that on me that I don’t give a shit, I don’t care — that is not who I am.”
Schneiderlin, who began his professional career at French outfit Strasbourg before then second-tier side Southampton purchased him in 2008, says he feels comfortable with current Everton manager Marco Silva.
“I knew I had to work twice, maybe three times as hard as anyone else because I knew some people and some fans would see me in a different way,” he said.
“That is what I said to the manager. I said I was prepared to do that and that was what I have done.”