Michael Carrick says Paul Scholes withering criticism of Manchester United’s performances under Louis van Gaal “doesn’t bother me”.
Scholes, who won 11 league titles during a glittering United career, has become disenchanted with the team’s style of play under their current manager.
The former midfielder renewed his attack on Van Gaal on Tuesday night, claiming United had become “boring” to watch under the Dutchman.
“It’s just a sideways, possession, boring style of football and you have to say, does he have a problem with forward players?” the 40-year-old said prior to the 1-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow.
Carrick insists the United players must accept criticism – regardless of where it comes from.
And it appears the 34-year-old’s relationship with Scholes has not been tarnished by his former team-mate’s remarks.
“For me, what he (Scholes) said doesn’t bother me,” said Carrick, who played alongside Scholes in the United midfield for six years.
“I have respect for Scholesy and that isn’t going to change. It’s not an issue really.
“There are so many opinions out there. If you start worrying about what people are saying about you on TV or in the papers then you are in trouble.
“We know as players what we have to focus on. There is nothing wrong with those comments. People are there to have opinions. That’s fine.
“You have to take the rough with the smooth and if you accept the pats on the back then you have to accept the criticism when it comes.”
United supporters also showed signs of dissent, booing when Van Gaal replaced Anthony Martial with Marouane Fellaini in the 66th minute, and it was an edgy night on the whole as the hosts looked set to record their fourth straight 0-0 draw until Wayne Rooney scored the winner 11 minutes from time.
Carrick says the players must learn to play in such a tense atmosphere.
“It’s our job to play. That’s why we are at this great club,” he said.
“If you can’t handle it or don’t want it then go and play somewhere else. You have to take the rough with the smooth.”
In fairness to Scholes, he reined in his criticism of United at half-time and after United’s win over CSKA.
‘I’ve been really encouraged,” he said. ”I think it’s the best I’ve seen of Manchester United as an attacking force.”
The only person who Scholes criticised was Ashley Young for his “embarrassing” attempt to win a penalty by diving in the box in the second half.
United had 15 goal attempts and enjoyed 69 per cent possession against a team that came close to sealing a shock victory in the reverse fixture last month.
Carrick admits Van Gaal has altered the style of play at United, but not to the point where it has become boring.
Change of style
The England midfielder said: “There are things as a team that we do different to how we did them in the past but to me that’s just obvious when you have a new manager and he has different beliefs.
“I don’t think it’s more conservative. I just think it’s slightly different. In some ways but not all ways.
“It’s about winning, isn’t it? Games and trophies. Of course we want to play exciting football and score loads of goals but it’s not always easy when players are coming and putting 10 behind the ball.”
Van Gaal reminded United fans on the eve of the match that they did not always win trophies and play enterprising football before he arrived at the club.
Carrick echoed those comments after the win over the Russian side.
“I remember nights when it didn’t go well or we got beat. There were nights like that,” said Carrick, who signed from Tottenham in 2006.
“It’s just how it is. It’s how people remember things, isn’t it? Your childhood was always great, wasn’t it? It’s easy to do that and everyone is guilty of that – players as well.”