REUTERS – Bastian Schweinsteiger has backed Louis van Gaal to achieve as much success with Manchester United as he managed at Bayern Munich and pleaded with fans to be patient and wait for the Dutch coach’s ideas to take root.
United have scored just three goals in their last five games but are fourth in the Premier League table, two points behind leaders Manchester City, and also top their Champions League group.
However, the side has been criticised for lacking creativity and fans have booed recent displays, while the Dutchman’s emphasis on possession has led to damning assessments from former players, among them Paul Scholes, who labelled the team “boring”.
Schweinsteiger, part of Van Gaal’s 2009-10 Bayern Munich side that won the Bundesliga and the German Cup, drew comparisons with the manager’s spell in Germany and United’s current state of affairs.
“I recognise similarities between Louis van Gaal here and at Bayern Munich,” the midfielder told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).
“In Munich, it took a while before the team understood exactly how we wanted to play football, but in the end we won the Bundesliga title and made it to the Champions League final.
“You have to be patient. But, of course, during that you have to win, you have to get results and you have to score.
“It is not about October or November — it is about May. I am sure Louis will bring success to United. I am convinced that will happen but we have to do our work and we have to improve,” he added.
The World Cup winner acknowledged the fans’ unhappiness with the perceived dullness of Van Gaal’s style compared with the attack-minded, free-flowing United sides of the past but insisted there was more than one way to achieve success.
“Football is not only about attack. There are teams with different game styles and they also win titles.
“But I think especially in home matches we have to press and go forward. When you are playing a team who defend with 10 men, it is not easy to find the gaps,” he said.
United travel to face 11th place Watford on Nov. 21, when the league resumes after the international break.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)