Wednesday 21 January 2015

We will come good under Louis van Gaal- but 3-5-2 will not take us forward

In six months at United, Louis van Gaal's favourite buzzword has been "philosophy".I have a good idea what this "philosophy" involves: team-work, communication and adaptability, and for the most part, there have been positive signs that United are improving and moving forward.

However, for the Reds to truly flourish under a manager who has had success wherever he has gone, he needs to ditch his favoured 3-5-2 system and revert back to the 4-4-2 formation that has served United so well down the years.
The hallmarks of great United sides from down the years has been high-tempo, on-the-front-foot, all out attacking football with width and pace provided by surging wingers.

We have always played with an element of risk: in my opinion, the current formation has discouraged this and taken away the speed and dynamism United are famous for.

This, in short, is the problem with 3-5-2: it has made our build-up play slow, hesitant and focused on ball retention over scoring chances.

There have been positives with the system: Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young are men re-born under the van Gaal regime and, beyond doubt, United have improved from the shambolic mess of last season.

We had an idea that van Gaal might implement the system at Old Trafford when his Holland side played it, admittedly with great success, in last summer's World Cup in Brazil. 

But it is not going to take United forward.

Gary Neville, who along with his brother Phil, Paul Scholes and the vast majority of fans,  have criticised van Gaal's continued usage of a flawed system.Neville said:They play the ball out from the back, which is fine- most good sides do- but the build-up play and tempo is too slow.
“The three central defenders are on the ball too much, they pass between them and pose no threat to the opposition, they don't take enough attacking risk by using the 3-5-2 system.
“When they go to 4-4-2, there is less possession but more threat, more chances created and more creativity on the ball.
“United lack dynamism and my main problem with the 3-5-2 is that it focuses on monopolising possession and valuing ball retention over creating scoring chances.”

United fans have grown impatient- not angry- at van Gaal's reluctance to move away from the system- chanting "4-4-2" and "attack, attack, attack" at the manager during the dire first half at QPR on Saturday.
United's switch to a 4-4-2 diamond in the second half was the catalyst for the 2-0 win. 

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