The Dutchman oversaw a healthy pre-season at the Old Trafford club but the ex-midfielder does not believe he will win the title in his first season
Van Gaal was named manager of United at the of the end 2013-14 campaign after David Moyes oversaw the club's seventh place finish in his debut season at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman only arrived in Manchester following the Netherlands' World Cup commitments in July but the 62-year-old has already gained admirers for his bold tactics.
Van Gaal has switched to a 3-5-2 formation, which resulted in an undefeated pre-season, including wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter, Real Madrid and Liverpool on the club's tour of the United States.
And former United midfielder Scholes believes the Dutchman is a "bit mad", though he does not believe his hands-on approach will see United win the league in 2014-15.
"He's a bit like a mad genius, he looks a bit crazy," Scholes wrote in The Independent.
"He's brought a bit of fear into the players which is no bad thing. I played for 20 years for Sir Alex Ferguson and he could be a scary man. Sometimes fear can bring performances out from you.
"But I have seen clips on the telly and one moment he's hugging someone for doing a great pass and the next he's going off his head.
"You knew where you stood with Sir Alex Ferguson straight from what you'd done on the Saturday. If you'd done well he'd pat you on the back and if you hadn't you probably wouldn't be playing the next week.
"This manager has great experience with proper clubs and been successful. Hopefully he can bring a bit of that to us."
Nevertheless, Scholes has tipped Chelsea and Manchester City to battle it out for first place, claiming that United need to make at least two midfield signings if they are to be considered as serious title challengers.
"I think the title is between City and Chelsea, they've both made decent signings. The next two places are between United, Liverpool and Arsenal," he added.
"United will be looking for a better season than last season, and that shouldn't be too difficult. It was a big blip last year. Disappointing.
"I'm sure he [Van Gaal] would have liked to have signed more players. He's not managed to do that yet. Are the players out there available? The areas they need, in midfield, is an area where I thought they might have bought a couple of players.
"It's not because they're not in the Champions League [that players aren't joining United]. Maybe if they were out of it for three or four years, but United is such a massive club. Being out of the Champions League will hopefully only be for one year.
"The chance to win the Premier League... possibly not this year if they don't make any more signings, but they'll definitely have a better year than last year. Confidence was low at the start of this season and I think this manager has brought that back."