Paul Scholes isn’t afraid to speak his mind when it comes to Manchester United, the club where he spent his entire professional career, but the retired midfielder has irked Louis van Gaal with his forthright opinions on more than one occasion over the past two years.
Scholes has often blasted United’s ‘boring’ style of football under Van Gaal in his role as a pundit on BT Sport - but, in truth, the former England international has only ever echoed the sentiments of the Old Trafford faithful.
However, Van Gaal wants Scholes to stop bad-mouthing his team. The veteran Dutch coach hopes to see a new, more light-hearted version of the Mancunian pundit over the coming weeks and months.
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Asked by the Independent if Ryan Giggs, a close friend of Scholes and assistant to Van Gaal, should step in as peacemaker, the 64-year-old insisted he doesn’t think that’s necessary - but admitted he wants the pundit to be more positive about Manchester United.
“No, I don’t think that I have to give Ryan stress in his friendship with Scholes,” Van Gaal said. “I have managed all of my career, so it would not be good or honest of me to ask Ryan to say something.
“What Scholes is thinking, he has to think it. Every human being can give his opinion. I don’t bother about that, I think it is good. But my problem is when you create an atmosphere, a very negative atmosphere for somebody, so maybe he should be more positive.”
United have been dull under Van Gaal
Scholes would inevitably say that he’ll be more positive once United begin to play the attack-minded football that the club is famous for.
The Red Devils have been dull to watch, for the most part, since Van Gaal’s arrival in the summer of 2014. More importantly, they’ve not been close to challenging for silverware.
United’s performances have improved a little recently - they recorded convincing victories over Derby County and Stoke City, and drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend - but they still have their work cut out to secure a top-four finish.
Van Gaal’s men are currently six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and also have the Europa League knockout rounds to contend with. They face FC Midtjylland in the Round of 32 first leg next week.
LvG's final months in management
United now look certain to replace Van Gaal with Jose Mourinho this summer, so perhaps will go a little easier on the Dutchman between now and the end of the season. These are likely to be his final months as a football manager, after all.
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