In his weekly column for the Evening Standard, Scholes points to the former Netherlands coach’s transfer business during the off-season as a cause for concern.
He also questioned Van Gaal’s assertion that the Red Devils were making progress despite their poor points return in the Premier League.
“Louis van Gaal talks about progress. Well, I expected Manchester United to have a better record by this stage of the season,” Scholes said.
“Under David Moyes last term my old club had 17 points from their first 10 games. This time, having spent £150million in the summer, they have 13 points from the same number.
“And the problem in defence should have been addressed in the summer. It was not as if Van Gaal was unaware that Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans were susceptible to injuries.
“The great defenders – Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic – were injured very rarely in their prime. You need that reliability and consistency at centre-back.
“It concerns me that expectation levels have slipped so far that many supporters I know felt relieved at snatching a late draw with Chelsea and losing narrowly to City.
“The scoreline against City might have been more respectable than last season but the performance in the first hour of the game was very poor indeed.
“This is Manchester United. It is not simply good enough to play well for 20 minutes and lose.”