15 August 2014 05:47
Louis van Gaal has brought “fear” back into the Manchester United players and is the man to get the club back on track, Paul Scholes claimed.
Van Gaal was named manager of United at the of the end 2013-14 campaign after David Moyes oversaw the club’s seventh place finish in his debut season at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman only arrived in Manchester following the Netherlands’ World Cup commitments in July but the 62-year-old has already gained admirers for his bold tactics and hands-on approach in a short space of time.
Van Gaal has switched to a 3-5-2 formation, which resulted in an undefeated pre-season, including wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter, Real Madrid and Liverpool on the club’s tour of the United States.
The La Liga and Bundesliga-winning tactician has also been seen praising players throughout training sessions, while he is not afraid to bark out instructions if standards are not met on the pitch.
And former United midfielder Scholes said he believes Van Gaal has all the right attributes to succeed at Old Trafford, where the club will host Swansea City in their Premier League opener on Saturday.
“From what I’ve seen he looks a bit mad,” the 39-year-old said. “He’s a bit like a mad genius, he looks a bit crazy.
“He’s brought a bit of fear into the players which is no bad thing. I played for 20 years for Sir Alex Ferguson and he could be a scary man. Sometimes fear can bring performances out from you.
“But I have seen clips on the telly and one moment he’s hugging someone for doing a great pass and the next he’s going off his head.
“You knew where you stood with Sir Alex Ferguson straight from what you’d done on the Saturday. If you’d done well he’d pat you on the back and if you hadn’t you probably wouldn’t be playing the next week.
“This manager has great experience with proper clubs and been successful. Hopefully he can bring a bit of that to us.”
Scholes has also urged defensive trio Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling to step up following the departure of captain Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, as well as left-back Patrice Evra.
“I still think the players they have are good enough, it’s whether they can get their confidence back. Jones, Evans and Smalling have all been there to win leagues, but now they really have to step up,” he added.
“Losing the defence is a massive part. When Rio and Vidic were on song it made your job so much easier as a midfield player, because you know when it gets to your defence Rio is just going to take that ball off them.
“The midfield don’t have that freedom anymore and maybe don’t have so much confidence in the back line.
“When Rio and Vidic were fit and in their prime, they always played together. It’s a part of the team that doesn’t change too much. It’s time for other players to step up.”