Paul Scholes: Louis van Gaal has an obsession with possession

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes believes Louis van Gaal is going against the club’s ethos of attacking football and is obsessed with possession.

The team have seen plenty of the ball in recent games but have struggled to create chances.

Against West Ham United last weekend, United looked sluggish going forward and were lucky to salvage a 1-1 draw thanks to Daley Blind’s late winner.

In the 3-1 win over Burnley, Radamel Falcao failed to register a single shot during the game.

Speaking about United’s playing style in his latest column piece, Scholes said: ”Of the current team, Angel Di Maria has taken more risks than any other and unfortunately for him it has not worked out. He has given the ball away a lot for very little returns. Otherwise there seems to be an emphasis on possession. I would go further than that: there is an obsession with possession.

“United fans don’t care if the team only has 40 per cent possession as long as they are watching an attacking team. My experience was that the supporters understood that even our best teams, even the teams with Peter Schmeichel or Edwin Van der Sar in goal, were going to concede goals. We were not reckless, or naïve, but always the chief aim was to attack – and we backed ourselves to out-score the opposition.”

It is true that United have regressed in terms of attacking football this season but is it a necessary evil if the club are to qualify for Champions League football?

What van Gaal has done is create a side which is incredibly tough to beat, with a run of one loss in 18 games testament to that.

It is imperative that the club play in Europe in the next campaign and it is something van Gaal is fully aware of. Unfortunately, fans may have to put up with the policy until United can push on in the summer.

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