Louis van Gaal feels Paul Scholes’ public criticism of Manchester United has turned some fans against him.
Scholes’ transformation from a shy and unreserved footballer into a vocal and opinionated pundit has caught most Man United fans by surprise, but it has been hard to disagree with some of the truths he has been discussing.
At times, it is fair to say Scholes’ criticism of certain areas and praise of others was questionable and that’s clearly something van Gaal feels.
“In my first year at Ajax, it was not a happy year for me,” he told The Independent.
“I took over from Leo Beenhakker and we lost the first three matches, so what do you think the fans were yelling? ‘Cruyff,’ for a whole year.
“I have always coped with that kind of thing. Barcelona is a very critical environment, because the result and the performance is very important. In England, it is more the result than performance, only when Paul Scholes started he influenced a certain amount of fans.”
Van Gaal then went on to discuss Ryan Giggs’ relationship with Scholes but said it wasn’t something he would ever try to interfere with.
“No, I don’t think that I have to give Ryan stress in his friendship with Scholes,” he added.
“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.”
I personally think that, on the majority, Scholes’ criticism is fair and accurate. It still startles me just how different he has been as a pundit in comparison to the unassuming footballer who did nothing but talk on the pitch, but I suppose he’s got to make a living somehow now his career with United is over.
To a degree, van Gaal is right. Fans are persuaded when legends speak out about the club, whether that is Rio Ferdinand, Scholes or somebody else, but fans have also created their own opinions of us having watched the football this season.
It’s a tricky one really and I can understand where van Gaal is coming from but I wouldn’t pass the blame solely onto Scholes because the Dutchman has to accept that his football has been mainly responsible for fan opinion turning against him, not some criticism from Scholes.