Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has torn into Van Gaal suggesting that he should have led the club to a better state after spending £150 million while indicating that Angel di Maria is not happy at Old Trafford.
Scholes believes that standards have dropped at Manchester United and that manager Van Gaal is to be blamed for the club’s current state despite spending heavily in the summer on players like Di Maria and Falcao. He also suggested that new signing Angel Di Maria looks subdued at Old Trafford and is not happy with the team.
“Louis van Gaal talks about progress. I expected United to have a better record by this stage of the season. Under David Moyes last season United had 17 points from their first 10 games. This time, having spent £150m in the summer, they have 13 points from 10 games.”
Paul Scholes went on to suggest that the players are not happy with Manchester United’s performances, making it clear that new signings, including Angel Di Maria, look downbeat in the red shirt.
“My concern is that the mood among the United players feels a bit low-key. Preparing for the broadcast of the game in Madrid this week, I watched reruns of last season and Angel Di Maria smiling broadly as he celebrated goal after goal with Cristiano Ronaldo.”
“He doesn’t seem to be in the same happy mood at United. It feels downbeat among the team. All this, and yet the third and fourth places – with respect to the likes of Southampton and West Ham – really are there for the taking.”
Paul Scholes was critical of Manchester United’s performances against Chelsea and Manchester City, suggesting that playing well for brief periods is not enough for a club of this stature.
“It concerns me that expectation levels have slipped so far at my former club Manchester United that many supporters I know felt relieved at snatching a late draw with Chelsea and losing narrowly to Manchester City. The scoreline against City might have been more respectable than last season but the performance in the first hour of the game was very poor indeed.”
“This is Manchester United. It is simply not good enough to play well for 20 minutes and lose.”
Scholes also criticised Manchester United’s performance in the derby, claiming that United deserved to lose and that the manager seemed inscrutable at the sidelines. He also claimed that Van Gaal seemed disenchanted and did not seem to be the same enigma who led Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals earlier this year.
“There have been many different interpretations of the derby game. I saw it this way. City should have had three penalties. David De Gea made some fantastic saves. Chris Smalling got sent off. And United lost.”
“It is difficult to figure out what Van Gaal is thinking during games. His demeanour doesn’t change throughout. He looks a bit subdued. Certainly, he appears very different to the man you saw on the touchline at the World Cup.”
Scholes also blamed Van Gaal for being short-sighted and not investing in defenders last summer. United bought two defenders, Rojo and Luke Shaw and superstars Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.
“The problem in defence should have been addressed in the summer. It was not as if Van Gaal was unaware that Phil Jones, Smalling and Jonny Evans were susceptible to injuries. The great defenders – Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic – were injured very rarely in their prime. You need that reliability and consistency at centre-back.”
With just 13 points from ten games, Manchester United sit 10th in the league and Van Gaal will have to buck up if he is to convince Paul Scholes and thousands of other fans of his ability to lead the club. Despite the arrival of big names such as Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, United have failed to get their new season going.