Ex-German international and former Bayern Munich reserve team coach Mehmet Scholl claims some of Manchester United's bigger personalities risk being exiled under Louis van Gaal.
Speaking to The Guardian's Jamie Jackson this week, Scholl, who worked under Van Gaal during their time in Bavaria, said the manager's hard-line methods may cause friction with some in the Old Trafford dressing room:
He's very strict and severe. So the players just have the chance to follow him or they are out and he takes the next players. He's very good with young players. I think everywhere he was he had some problems with big players and the staff.
There are 26, 27 players and he is looking for the 14 to follow him – 14, 15, 16 to follow. His thing is not the motivation [man-management]. He's good in motivation but this is not his main character thing. His thing is really working on the pitch – that's brilliant. And that's how the players learn. You know by yourself that if you learn from somebody you are curious, you want to learn more.
Some of the players, I can tell you, like Rooney, I don't think he has to learn anything more. So that will be difficult for him if the coach says: 'You have to do it in a completely different way. Whatever you did until now, change it.
As Jackson states, Van Gaal is expected to be appointed to the permanent role next week and "wants a deal in place" before May 7, at which point the Netherlands coach will join up with the Oranje to prepare for this summer's World Cup.
Although his stern approach may not go down so comfortably with all at Manchester United, it's a no-holds-barred mentality that the Red Devils are frankly in need of.
Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft has opened up the idea of Van Gaal appointing a sport director at the club, too, a member of personnel Van Gaal is used to having around:
With van Gaal in it's a great opportunity for Man UTD to appoint a SportDirector. The Dutch is used to that. #MUFC— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) May 2, 2014
David Moyes' 10-month reign at the helm of United could have used a more disciplined style, with the contrast to that of Sir Alex Ferguson's methods presumably proving to be a change too drastic for some of the team, as is suggested by their current position of seventh in the Premier League.
Scholl singles out Rooney as being one who may not be capable of adapting his trade under the coming regime, but let us not forget the 28-year-old has moulded, positionally and tactically at least, to suit the needs of his squad at numerous junctures in his career.
Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano is quoted by Ian Herbert of The Independent agreeing with Scholl's statement, insisting the Dutchman isn't the most accommodating of personalities:
I think the education is the thing. The thing Van Gaal teaches is the same thing Van Persie learned from the very beginning. So there, I think, there will be no big problem. Of course he is a big player but he is a Dutch player. That's the thing and the difference to Rooney.
A rejuvenated Van Persie is something that every United supporter will be fond of envisioning, his 2013-14 campaign not quite recapturing the prolific form of his maiden season at Old Trafford, in which he bagged 26 league goals, per Transfermarkt.
The striker's campaign was terribly disrupted by injury, of which Mark Ogden of The Telegraph suggests majorly affected United's fortunes and, ultimately, Moyes' fate:
And David Moyes might still be in a job had RVP and Rooney not missed chunks of season due to injury. Everyone gets injuries.— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) April 29, 2014
With a Champions League-winning coach of Van Gaal's quality and supreme experience leading their hunt, United can hope to put the last year behind them and start afresh with a tactician more on a par with the retired Ferguson.
However, nothing worth having ever came easily, and so to get the best out of their boss, Manchester United and, more specifically, the playing staff may have to accept a few losses, according to Scholl.