Paul Scholes has identified where he believes Louis van Gaal has gone wrong since taking over at Old Trafford, claiming the style the manager wants his team to play could prove to be Manchester United's undoing because they don't have the required personnel to make the preferred system work.
The Red Devils legend shared his view in his weekly column for The Independent, where he paid tribute to the philosophy the Dutch coach is trying to instil, but at the same time suggested the approach is not particularly well suited to the players currently available at the Theatre of Dreams.
Several senior stars have already been deployed in unfamiliar positions, with club captain Wayne Rooney operating in a deeper midfield role for several games while Ashley Young has been completely converted from an attack-minded wide forward into a wing-back.
Article continues below
Other established players have also struggled to get to grips with the demands of the new manager, with high-profile summer signings Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao the two individuals that stand out most for the consistently poor performances they've delivered in the Van Gaal era.
Whilst results have generally been pretty good for Manchester United over the past 20-25 games, Scholes says that the team is at risk of getting found out against the better teams in the Premier League, as they found out in the recent FA Cup quarter-final defeat against Arsenal.
Article continues below
"Watching United at Old Trafford on Monday, I know what Louis van Gaal is trying to do with this team. I do like the concept. I just question whether he has the players to do it," reflected the retired midfielder.
"In recent weeks, Van Gaal has tried what I would describe as a more Barcelona-style approach to games. His centre-backs push wide, the full-backs push on and the team pass the ball.
"It has worked against the weaker teams but it is against the stronger sides, starting with Spurs and the high-pressing game they play, that you have to wonder whether it will be found out."
With Mauricio Pochettino's energetic Tottenham Hotspur side arriving at Old Trafford this weekend, Scholes fears that sticking to the current system could have negative repercussions on the outcome of Sunday's game.
"If United keep playing the way they are, they will be found out against better sides," he explained. "To play this way, you really need to be exceptional.
"I just don't think this system is the best for these players," - Paul Scholes
"Barcelona can do it because they have the players and they have been playing this way for years. United have spent around £220m in the last three transfer windows and yet I would question whether they have the players to operate this system.
"I understand what Van Gaal is trying to do. I like that he is playing with the wide players. I just don't think this system is the best for these players."
Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Paul Scholes's assessment of Louis van Gaal's side? How do you think they'll get on against Spurs on Sunday? Share your thoughts below...