Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal concedes why he’s reluctant to play 4-4-2

Angry Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal favours an unorthodox 3-5-2 formation over the typically conventional 4-4-2.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal admits that his team lacks balance and security when adopting a conventional 4-4-2 formation, the Daily Mirror reports.

The former Bayern Munich coach has made big changes to the Red Devils this season, both in personnel and in the system used to reach the club’s objectives.

Over the years under former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, United often played a 4-4-2 formation, using the width of the Old Trafford pitch to their advantage and playing at such pace and ferocity.

While van Gaal remains adamant that his philosophy matches that of his predecessor, his preferred formation couldn’t be more different as he opts for an unorthodox 3-5-2 system.

Playing three at the back has caused United confusion on a number of occasions this season, and a brief switch back to 4-4-2 arguably brought the Old Trafford outfit better results.

However, the Dutchman claims that playing with just two in midfield has left his side wide open and concedes that it makes him incredibly uneasy watching on from the sidelines.

"I know the stats are giving the positive results that we have won more with 4-4-2 in a diamond," Van Gaal said, quoted by the Mirror. "But when you analyse the game then we have twitched our ass on the bench.

"I said to my players I was 'squeezing my ass', but it was the wrong expression. I have twitched my ass on the bench because we were out of balance.

"We lost the game against Leicester City 5-3 and that was undeserved. And all the matches when we play with 4-4-2, like against West Ham, it was always twitching your ass and I don't like it.

"Maybe then you see, after I switch the system, we have won nine or ten in a row.

"Then we lose one match and then the discussion about the system is coming, so it's ridiculous. In the last 15 games we only lost one [to Southampton] and that was undeserved - we were the better team."

Van Gaal may take the chance to experiment with his formation against League Two opponents Cambridge United this evening in the FA Cup.

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