Sir Alex Ferguson-Rene Meulensteen
Rene Meulensteen was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant during the former's final years at Old Trafford Reuters

Louis van Gaal has been criticised by former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen for failing to play entertaining football under his guidance. The Red Devils finished fifth in the 2015/16 season, scoring only 49 goals in the process.

The Dutchman saw his side crash out of the group stages of the Champions League and get eliminated from the Europa League at the hands of Liverpool, who made it to the final, only to lose 3-1 to eventual winners Sevilla.

United have made it to the FA Cup final and they face Crystal Palace at Wembley on 21 May. Meulensteen, who was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant during his time believes has questioned Van Gaal's style of play at Old Trafford.

"I know where the fans are coming from because I've been part of the Manchester United set-up for over twelve years so I knew what was required and what Sir Alex Ferguson demanded," Meulensteen told

"Yes there was pressure to win and get results but the way we got those results was always very important as well."

"The obligation to entertain and play attacking and creative football was always the first thing on the sheet. He (Van Gaal) realised one-nil's could win you leagues but there are different ways of winning one-nil. You need to give them the freedom to express themselves and allow them to make their own decisions. From that comes belief."

Van Gaal has one year left on his contract and there are reports the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager could be replaced by Jose Mourinho. However, Meulensteen wants his assistant Ryan Giggs to take charge and he has his reasons.

"People say that Ryan Giggs has no managerial experience but the one thing they forget is that he might not be the finished article but he has more experience of Manchester United than many of the coaches that could come in," he said.

"That is a big plus for him. He knows the identity of the club and has been part of a successful at the club for a long, long time. He would know what it takes to get United back to where they belong."

Read the full 888sport interview with Rene Meulensteen here