Manchester United’s Van Gaal responds to Scholes criticism

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Was Louis Van Gaal affected by the criticism of Manchester United legend Paul Scholes?

Given his comments in Friday’s press conference, that answer is a definite, “Yes.”

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Sure, Van Gaal was going to be asked a barrage of questions on the matter anyway, but his answers are a clear indication that he’s stung by Scholes’ criticism (especially given United’s return to the the Premier League title fights).

From the BBC:

“I always take risks,” said the Dutchman. “I don’t agree with his opinion. He has a lot of resonance [being sarcastic]. He should speak with the manager, or his friend Ryan Giggs, or Ed Woodward not….because he shall be paid by the BBC or Sky.”

“You have an expression. Sticks and stones will break my bones. Names won’t hurt me. He [Scholes] doesn’t have the responsibility. Is he saying this for the benefit for the club or benefit of himself?”

I’m all for siding with the “press” here, but at what point does Scholes hurt his reputation, at least among diehard United supporters, with statements like this? Honesty is certainly critical, but his pal Ryan Giggs is LVG’s right-hand man and presumed successor. What’s the big idea?

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Conspiratorially-speaking, it makes you wonder if Scholes cleared said comments with his former midfield mate, or even his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who has banished players from Old Trafford when they failed to live up to his lofty loyalty standard? Would you put it past SAF to be upset with the amount of credit LVG is getting for United’s “turnaround”?

There’s a lot to wonder about here. Scholes is an all-timer, but what does he gain from this criticism? And why does he need his name in the headlines?