There comes a point with every manager when they have to decide if their pride is getting in the way of the success of the team. Louis van Gaal came to England with the apparent intention of making Manchester United successful with a formation which had no celebrated precedents in the country. In short, noone has made the 3-5-2 work for any length of time. Perhaps it SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK in this particular league.
So is Louis continuing with it because of his own pride or does he still genuinely believe that Manchester United can be a better team if they stay on this current path? Manchester United legend Gary Neville certainly thinks that 3-5-2 is not working. He told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports:
‘Louis van Gaal wants them to recycle the ball and switch the play. I’m not a fan of 3-5-2 because centre-backs are the free men and they become the safe option.
‘They play out the back but the tempo too slow. Far too often they are keeping possession and passing backwards.
‘They’ve become quite predictable in past few weeks. Manchester United looked far more dangerous on Saturday when they changed the system.
‘Fans want them to go 2-0 up and then keep possession rather than fight for goals near the end.’
We have to say that we agree. The system doesn’t even look close to working and the worst bit about it is that it’s so boring to watch. Manchester United have been slowly zig-zagging their way up the park, passing the ball in front of the opposition and rarely penetrating. It’s anything but the exciting, quick brand of football that Manchester United fans have become accustomed to over the years.
Machester United finally have players who can destroy teams. Rooney, Di Maria and Falcao were born for rapier counter attacks but this system doesn’t allow for direct and slick moves. The ball just doesn’t get from one end to the other quickly enough and it allows the opposition time to get themselves into shape.
The moment LvG changed to 4 at the back against QPR the team started playing. Manchester United have a huge battle on their hands for third or fourth place this season and can ill afford to drop more points. Hopefully LvG will realise that pride comes before a fall and revert to a more instinctive and natural formation for the players.
Manchester United fans: is the 3-5-2 experiment dead?