Leeds United legend Johnny Giles has questioned the capacity for Louis van Gaal to succeed at Manchester United, suggesting that he has been an exceptional politician thus far in the role and very little else, as reported by the Daily Star.
Giles is one of the most influential midfielders in the modern footballing era, having moved from Man Utd early in his career to join Don Revie at Leeds. While at the Yorkshire club, he played a key role in an unprecedented period of success, one which saw the Whites become one of the fiercest and most talented footballing sides in Europe.
The former Republic of Ireland international has now questioned Van Gaal and his regime so far at Old Trafford, pointing out that it’s difficult to judge the Dutch manager on his work so far.
Giles said: “Van Gaal’s public relations has been brilliant. I had my doubts about him in the World Cup because in my view, Wesley Sneijder is one of the top midfielders in the world but Van Gaal never played him in his best position.
“What really puzzled me was the gimmick decision to change his goalkeeper before the penalty shootout in the quarter-final.
“He took all the credit that was going for that switch as Holland knocked out Costa Rica. But the following week he was in the same position in the semi-final against Argentina and was unable to repeat the tactic because he had used up all of his substitutes.
“So if he was a genius one week, he should have been doing the same thing in the next game.
“To be fair, we are all to blame for building him up so much. He used three at the back in Brazil and the way pundits spoke about it, you would swear he had re-invented the wheel. He had two wingers playing at wing- back, which is not the best thing in the world.
“But he has been clever, going into the United job, saying ‘At all the clubs I have been to, it has taken three months for players to get my philosophy’.
“Then after the 4-0 defeat to MK Dons he said it could take as long as a year for him to get it right.
“David Moyes didn’t even last a year. So Van Gaal is a good politician.
“He said he needed six new players and has got six. He has to knit them together and only then will we judge him.”
Man Utd face Leicester City in the Premier League today, while Giles’s former club Leeds managed a 3-0 win against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield in the Championship yesterday.