Andrei Kanchelskis has branded his former side Manchester United as “disgustingly” bad to watch under Louis van Gaal, with players like “robots”.
Van Gaal has come in plenty of criticism over United’s style of play this season, with the form of striker Wayne Rooney a particular worry as the club have failed to score in their last three consecutive games.
Paul Scholes recently attributed such struggles to a lack of creativity behind Rooney, but Kanchelskis has gone much further.
“Van Gaal is too pragmatic, his footballers play like robots,” he told Sport Express.
“They are kept within a strict framework, they are not allowed to improvise, contrary to what Ferguson allowed us to do.
“Van Gaal, of course, is a good coach but, in my opinion, he is not for Manchester United. I’m looking at his game for the second season now.
“He says that the transformation is going on, but I still couldn’t understand what he is looking for.
“There is an impression that he doesn’t know what he wants. No creative players, no wingers. Nobody could serve Wayne Rooney.
“The current Manchester is not the same as it was under Ferguson.
Kanchelskis reserved particular ire for United’s showing in their Champions League group stage clash with CSKA Moscow in Russia, with the return tie on Tuesday.
“The first game against CSKA showed that it’s possible to win against this team.
“I was at the stadium and I was surprised how disgustingly United played in the first half. A lot of ball control but no sharpness at all.
“In the second half it got better because of the substitution of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was slowing the game down. I guess, Manchester United is not his team.
“It’s in the history and tradition of Man United to play wide and be sharp at the flanks but there is nothing like this now.
“Yes, changes in the second half had worked. Marouane Fellaini was a good sub and, if he were used properly, he could be very useful.”
Kanchelskis also believes that United are lucky to be fourth in the Premier League table, and owe their lofty position to goalkeeper David de Gea.
“They were saved with the fact that De Gea stayed in the team. If he had left, Man United would have done much worse. He is a very strong goalkeeper, he saves the team a lot.”
Kanchelskis then criticised Van Gaal’s decision to sell Robin van Persie this summer. The Dutch striker has struggled since joining Fenerbahce, and was left out of Holland’s latest international squad.
“Let’s say, he did not have a good season,” Kanchelskis said of Van Persie. “But nobody shone until the end of the season from those who played in Brazil at the World Cup last year.
“Even Lionel Messi was exhausted, as well as the Germans. How could you let go of such a player?”