Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has labelled Van Gaal a ‘mad genius’ but believes that the club will not be fighting for titles this season as they have failed to land a major signing in the summer.
Paul Scholes was a part of Ryan Giggs’ assistant team last season but despite rumours, will not be assisting Van Gaal in any capacity this season. The former Red Devils legend has called Van Gaal a mad genius but believes that he has instilled a sense of fear in the team which will reflect positively in the results.
“From what I’ve seen (Van Gaal) looks a bit mad. He’s a bit like a mad genius, a bit crazy. He’s obviously very good at his job from where he’s been. I’ve not seen him work but I have seen clips on the telly and one moment he’s hugging someone for doing a great pass and the next, if something’s not right, he’s going off his head. He’s brought a bit of fear, which is no bad thing.”
Scholes went on to compare Van Gaal with Sir Alex Ferguson, stating that the players were scared of Ferguson and hence strived better on the field. He believes that the current crop of Manchester United players will have to perform this season or they run the risk of facing the axe.
“I played for 20 years for Sir Alex Ferguson and he could be a scary man. Fear can bring performances from you. There’s no doubt these players need to perform this year. If they don’t, I don’t think they’ll be there for very long.”
He also reiterated the need for an honest manager-player relationship, revealing how Ferguson managed his players during his reign at Old Trafford.
“Players will know where they stand, which is what you want. You knew where you stood with Sir Alex from what you’d done on the Saturday. If you’d done well, he’d pat you on the back. If you hadn’t, you probably wouldn’t be playing the next week.”
Paul Scholes believes that despite the hype surrounding Van Gaal’s appointment, United will not be competing for trophies immediately under the new manager. He said that if the club can qualify for Champions League next season, then it can be considered as an achievement for the manager and the players. He went on to predict that the title race will be fought between Manchester City and Chelsea with United, Liverpool and Arsenal competing for the remaining two Champions League positions.
“Success will be the Champions League. It’s between City and Chelsea (for the title). The next two places are between United, Liverpool and Arsenal.”
However Scholes is not one to give up on the team yet, believing that the United have the players and the manager to surprise people come next May.
“There are a lot of players in that ( Manchester United) team who have won leagues before. They are capable of getting close. We’ll have to see how good the manager is, and if he can bring a couple more players in, although he might think he has enough as it is. Chelsea and Man City have got stronger squads but in the end, squads don’t matter – it’s what you do on the field.”
“In May, hopefully United will be proving people like me wrong.”
The midfielder also spoke about United’s teansfer policy, wondering why the club could not land a Kroos, or a Fabregas.
“A Fabregas, a Toni Kroos or a Schweinsteiger could add real quality to the team, but that’s up to the manager.”
With just days remaining for United’s opening fixture this season, it will be interesting to see how Van Gaal and co adapt to the pressure and if they can deliver the necessary results.