Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes says he is struggling to watch Manchester United under Louis van Gaal Reuters

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes is the latest to criticise Louis van Gaal's "miserable" defensive approach to the game at Old Trafford and claims without David De Gea his side "would be three, four places lower down the table", while Wayne Rooney's role is an issue.

The Dutch manager has been under scrutiny in recent days after West Ham manager Sam Allardyce accused him of changing United's traditional offensive style for a long-ball game – just after the Premier League giants secured a 1-1 draw at Upton Park with a late equaliser from Daley Blind.

Van Gaal denied the accusation even though stats show his side have played the second highest number of long balls in the Premier League, just behind Burnley.

The Old Trafford side failed to play down the critics on 11 February in the game against Burnley despite a 3-1 win.

Scholes has not held his tongue to censor Van Gaal's methods. He has questioned his approach to the game, Wayne Rooney's role in the team and pointed out the club would be lower in the table were it not for De Gea.

"It does not give me any pleasure to say that at the moment I am struggling to watch Louis van Gaal's team with any great enjoyment. They beat Burnley on Wednesday night but it was Burnley who had by far the best of the first half," Scholes wrote in his weekly column for The Independent.

"At times, United's football is miserable. To beat opposing teams you have to attack, and to attack you have to take risks. Too few of the players in the current team are prepared to take those risks.

"This season, how many times have United been rescued by David De Gea? Without him, they would be three, four places lower down the table."

Meanwhile, the former United midfielder has also questioned whether Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao should play together up front, claiming Rooney is wasting his talent in a deeper role.

"We come at last to the two strikers, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. I feel they look like strangers at times, while Wayne Rooney is moved around the team to accommodate them," he added.

"Wayne can play anywhere on the pitch. He is so willing, and he will give you at least a 7/10 performance most times. Against Burnley, he ended up as a defensive midfielder. At other times he has been pushed out to the right-hand side, where he will look for the strikers early or switch the play. But if Van Gaal does not think Rooney is a better option up front than the other two then there really is a problem."