Louis van Gaal has questioned whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “properly training” his Manchester United players to adapt to the different formations he uses.
United’s inconsistency has led many to believe the players are struggling with Solskjaer’s inability to stick to one system.
Man United v Leeds: One big game, five big questions
And Van Gaal isn’t sure the United boss is preparing his players effectively for the changes.
“The football he brings is of a counter attacking team. He always adapts to his opponents,” the Dutchman told the Mirror.
“And he is playing different systems all the time. Against Southampton it is 4-4-2, in the next match it is 5 defenders, next it is 4-2-3-1.
“You could argue he is using the qualities of his players, but at West Ham United they were outclassed in the first half.
“It was only when Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes came on they made the difference. Using different systems is okay but my question would be is he actually properly training the players to use these systems?
“Because it’s key that if you switch these different playing systems it must be executed in a good way. It depends less on the quality of the players than on the actual practice of a system in training.”
Van Gaal says he was unimpressed with United in the recent goalless draw with Man City.
Van Gaal, who twice beat City as United boss, argued his former side played like they were their rivals “servants”.
He said: “All Man United did was defend with ten men. Everyone knows my relationship with Pep Guardiola, who is angry with me because I challenged him in my last book.
“But I enjoyed watching City more than United. I have far more sympathy for City than for United.
“Honestly, United were just defending and hoping they can do a quick hit on the counter. Pep’s team don’t have the intention to defend with ten men.
“United just defend and put a couple of players up front who can run 100 metres in 9 seconds. Is that a world record?
“All I mean to say is that Greenwood, Rashford or Martial are super fast runners who will use the space United’s opponents leave behind their defence when United sit back and defend.
“In the derby, United played as if they were City’s servants.’”
Van Gaal also says that while Solskjaer’s status as a club legend is currently protecting him from the sack, he insisted that the Norwegian could follow the same fate he did.
“Solskjaer is an ex-player, so they will not sack him as quickly as someone else,” Van Gaal added.
“United won’t sack a manager during the season especially Solskjaer. I see all the stories about Solskjaer and his future in the media.
“But they waited with sacking me until the end of the season and that could happen to him.”