Manchester United are ‘miserable’, says Paul Scholes

Club legend says dour football under Louis Van Gaal betrays rich attacking heritage

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has said the current side are miserable to watch under Louis Van Gaal. (Phorograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has said the current side are miserable to watch under Louis Van Gaal. (Phorograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

 

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has called some of the football his old club are playing under Louis van Gaal “miserable”.

Despite Van Gaal taking United to third in the table in his first season in charge, some critics have had issues with the style of play employed by the Dutchman.

Another ex-player, Gary Neville, caused a stir when he compared them to a pub side earlier this season, while Scholes also has issues.

Writing in the Independent in the wake of the midweek win over Burnley, he said: “Part of being a Manchester United player under Sir Alex Ferguson, perhaps the most important part of being one of United’s attacking players, was that when you were in possession you had to take risks in order to create goalscoring chances. It was not an option; it was an obligation.

“In the periods of my career when I stopped passing the ball forward, or when I stopped looking for the risky pass that might open up a defence, the consequences were the same. The manager stopped picking me. I got back into the team when I went back to doing it the way he wanted.

“United’s history was built on attacking football, which does not always mean that the team kept clean sheets or did not concede chances. Why do you think United have had some of the best goalkeepers in the world over the years? They needed them because the team committed so many players forward.

“It does not give me any pleasure to say that at the moment I am struggling to watch Louis van Gaal’s team with any great enjoyment. They beat Burnley on Wednesday night but it was Burnley who had by far the best of the first half.

“At times, United’s football is miserable. To beat opposing teams you have to attack, and to attack you have to take risks. Too few of the players in the current team are prepared to take those risks.”

Scholes scored 155 goals for United during their richest period of success and is at a loss to work out why Van Gaal is employing captain Wayne Rooney in midfield.

He added: “We come at last to the two strikers, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. I feel they look like strangers at times, while Wayne Rooney is moved around the team to accommodate them.

“Wayne can play anywhere on the pitch. He is so willing, and he will give you at least a 7/10 performance most times. Against Burnley he ended up as a defensive midfielder. At other times he has been pushed out to the right-hand side, where he will look for the strikers early or switch the play.

“But if Van Gaal does not think Rooney is a better option up front than the other two then there really is a problem.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.