Paul Scholes: I like Van Gaal’s system, but it’s not right for current Man United players

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Paul Scholes has opinions — it’s key to writing a weekly column, of course — and this week’s scathing assessment of Manchester United, his former club and the only one he ever played for, is that while Louis van Gaal’s tactical system is not a bad one, it’s not right for the current crop of Man United players.

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Scholes has described the way United have played in recent weeks as “a more Barcelona-style approach to games,” adding, “His center backs push wide, the full backs push on and the team pass the ball.”

Scholes, in his weekly column for the London Evening Standard:

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.

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.

There’s nothing wrong with the “Barcelona” approach, Scholes says, but he feels that against the Premier League’s top teams, beginning with Sunday’s top-four clash with Tottenham Hotspur (Watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra, 12 pm ET), the current United team doesn’t have the players capable of playing in such a manner.

To play this way, you really need to be exceptional. Barcelona can do it because they have the players and they have been playing this way for years. United have spent around [$325 million]in the last three transfer windows and yet I would question whether they have the players to operate this system.