Louis van Gaal is “selfish” and is not allowing his players to have freedom on the pitch, according to former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker.
Man United have been criticised at various points this season following some uninspiring attacking displays.
Van Gaal’s side have drawn five of their last eight games in all competitions and players such as Memphis Depay are suffering from a lack of confidence at the club. Parker, who won two Premier League titles at Man United during the early 1990s, slammed van Gaal’s management style.
“I look at Anthony Martial and worry for him. He looks like a boy who doesn’t smile anymore. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself,” Parker said.
“The form Memphis Depay is showing hasn’t just happened because he’s playing in the Premier League. That boy probably feels like a scapegoat. Ander Herrera is hugely popular with the fans because he makes things happen. Everyone loves to see players like that, but he’s barely playing and is probably unsettled. These players need freedom.
“Van Gaal puts the fear of God into players. It has to be his way. He selfishly manages the team. And no one enjoys it. He may be a successful manager, but he must learn – even at his age – to become a good man manager.
“At the moment we have to say he’s not man managing that team. All those players he’s got are not bad players, and they’ve not played negative football all their lives. He’s being incredibly stubborn. Under van Gaal, every player who has had one bad game has been left out – except for Wayne Rooney.”
Van Gaal has made United defensively resolute but it has come at the cost of a bland, predictable style of play going forward.
However, to the Dutchman’s credit, he has his side in the hunt for the league title and on the cusp of the Champions League knockout stage. You get the sense that the January transfer window will be a crucial one for United if they are to turn around their fortunes up top and be successful this term.