LONDON (Reuters) - Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham has urged Louis van Gaal's critics to be patient by giving the Dutch coach time to spark a turnaround in his old club's fortunes.
Van Gaal has been under the microscope all season, not only because of a string of indifferent results but also due to the team often failing to show the flair and dynamism traditionally associated with United teams.
The Old Trafford club, down in fifth place in the Premier League, ended a three-match sequence without a victory in all competitions when they beat League One Shrewsbury Town 3-0 on Monday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.
"He (Van Gaal) is an experienced manager with a great reputation in the game," Beckham told Talksport Radio. "Sometimes it takes time, it is not easy being manager of Man United.
"We have to look at results, we have to look at the way we play, we have to listen to fans, the people that really matter at the club, and I only hear great things about him as a person, as a manager, as a coach.
"I have met him once before and he treated me unbelievably well. He is manager of Manchester United so there is always going to be criticism."
The former England captain, who is trying to set up a Miami Beckham United Major League Soccer franchise, said he was not surprised that his old team had suffered since Alex Ferguson retired.
Ferguson stepped down as manager after winning the Premier League title in 2013, the last of 38 major trophies his sides won in more than 26 years in the job.
David Moyes lasted one season in which he led the team to seventh in the league and Van Gaal guided United to fourth in his first campaign.
"As a Man United fan I always hoped we wouldn't go through a slump but it was inevitable," said Beckham who played for United under Ferguson from 1995 to 2003 and helped them win six Premier League titles and the 1999 Champions League.
"We have had so much success over the last 20 years that if we don't win something for one season or two seasons people talk about it being a crisis," the 40-year-old added.