Van Gaal a mad genius - Scholes

LONDON - Paul Scholes has described Louis van Gaal as “a mad genius” who will bring to Manchester United the combination of charisma, ability, intimidation and fear with which Sir Alex Ferguson inspired a succession of title-winning charges.

“I haven’t really come across him a lot,” said Scholes, who retired in 2013 following a trophy-laden career at Old Trafford and has recently joined BT Sport’s team of pundits.

“From what I’ve seen in pre-season he looks a bit mad to me. He’s a bit like a mad genius, he looks a bit crazy.

“I think he’s brought a bit of fear back into the players, which is no bad thing. I played for 20 years for Sir Alex Ferguson and he could be a scary man. Sometimes fear can bring performances out from you. There’s no doubt these players need to perform this year or they won’t be there for very long. Players will know where they stand, which is what you want. You knew where you stood with Sir Alex Ferguson. This manager has great experience with proper clubs and has been successful. Hopefully he can bring a bit of that to us.”

Scholes briefly returned to United at the end of last season as an assistant to Ryan Giggs following the sacking of David Moyes, as the team limped to a massively disappointing seventh place.

“They didn’t have a great season. Confidence was at an all-time low,” he said. “I think this manager has brought the confidence back. You can’t take a lot from pre-season games but if you look back to last year it was a bit of a shambles. They got beat by an all-star Singha XI or something. Those things don’t happen to United.

“They’ll be a lot better this year. The first six games look favourable and if they can be near or top of the league at the end of those then you take it from there. They’ve got players who should be good enough. People like Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young took a lot of stick last season but you don’t become bad players overnight. These players know how to win leagues. It’s only Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, who have just come in, and Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini who haven’t won the league. I just worry that City and Chelsea have a bit too much for them.” – Press Association

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