Schmeichel ‘fears Guardiola becoming United boss’

Ian Watson
Peter Schmeichel Manchester United TEAMtalk

Peter Schmeichel is worried about the prospect of Pep Guardiola managing Manchester United and says Louis van Gaal is not respecting the traditions of the club.

The goalkeeping legend has joined the chorus of former players criticising the style of football Van Gaal is using at Old Trafford, with United having gone 404 minutes without scoring a goal prior to Wayne Rooney’s header to beat CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night.

Speculation has already begun over who could replace Van Gaal – whenever the Dutchman departs – and Schmeichel believes whoever takes over should play the United way. The Dane fears Guardiola would not do that, pointing to the changes the former Barca boss has made at Bayern Munich.

“This is my biggest fear that someone like Pep Guardiola will become the next Manchester United manager,” Schemeichel told Sky Sports.

“Guardiola has a way of playing, he has a system and he sticks to that. He has changed Bayern Munich from what I thought was a fantastic treble-winning team under Jupp Heynckes.

“They played quick football, through the middle, using the width of the pitch, but they were passing the ball and killing everyone they played against.

“He started to make them pass the ball sideways and I don’t think they are as exciting as what they were.”

In the wake of United’s goalless run, plenty of former players have spoken up to question Van Gaal, including Schmeichel’s team-mates Paul Scholes and Andrei Kanchelskis.

“There are former players in the media very critical of the way Van Gaal plays the game,” Schmeichel acknowledged.

“One player, Andrei Kanchelskis, says he has them playing like robots and I kind of agree with that a little bit because the manager should not decide how the Manchester United players are playing the game.

“I think Manchester United is a much bigger club than any manager in the world and the manager who comes in should respect what Manchester United is.

“At the moment, I’m not seeing the way I’d like to see Manchester United play.

“With a club like Manchester United that have history and traditions, I think the manager at the club should respect that.”