Former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit has stuck the boot into Louis van Gaal, questioning the Manchester United boss' summer transfer policy, and consequently his knowledge - or lack thereof - the Premier League.
The Dutchman succeeded David Moyes at Old Trafford over the summer and spent more than £150 million on new players during the recent window, in a bid to improve the club's fortunes following a disappointing seventh place finish in 2013/14.
But, to Gullit's shock, the Red Devils head coach failed to recruit a world-class centre-back, choosing instead to splash multi-million-pounds on midfield and attacking reinforcements, leaving the squad inexcusably short on options at the back.
Ruud Gullit quotes:
"How on earth is it possible that such an experienced and successful manager thought he could start the season at Man United without buying a couple of really strong central defenders?" Gullit asked rhetorically, quoted by the Mail on Sunday.
"I am still amazed by his buying and his transfers. If you only strengthen the midfield and the attack, than you are underestimating the level and the power of the Premier League.
"If you want to survive in the top flight of English football you start with the foundation and you build the roof of your house last. Van Gaal has done it the other way round."
He added: "After the departure of Nemanja Vidic to Inter [Milan], and Rio Ferdinand to QPR it was obvious that new central defenders were needed. And he had 200 million in his chequebook to spend.
"If you don’t use part of that to buy strong, experienced central defenders you have the wrong idea about the Premier League.
"Now matters are even worse because of all the injuries in his defence. He is having to fill one gap after another. And if you have so many injuries and you have not bought the defenders, than you are doing something wrong at your club."
Despite the critical analysis of his compatriot, Gullit insists he wants Van Gaal to succeed at Manchester United, but says that his failure to recruit successfully over the summer could well cost them this season.
"I do want him to be successful at Man United, but by the time he has repaired his team at the back, it will another three months down the road," he continued. "I feel that his transfer policy at United and his choice to buy only midfielders and attackers is down to his Dutch background.
"In Holland he grew up only thinking about attacking football. [But] Van Gaal is learning lessons right now.
"He sees that his defenders are having to deal with the strongest strikers in the world. They bash into his young defenders. In England there are different laws in football."
Experience is key...
The former Blues boss and European Footballer of the Year is well placed to pass comment having played and coached in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, also enjoying another brief managerial spell in charge at Newcastle United.
It remains to be seen whether Van Gaal will make a success of his time in England, but will be expected to improve performances further after a slow start to the new season.
The Red Devils earned their second victory of 2014/15 on Saturday after beating West Ham 2-1 at Old Trafford, which lifted a little pressure on the manager following last week's shocking 5-3 defeat against Leicester City.
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