We have the feeling that when Louis van Gaal witnessed Manchester United’s capitulation against Leicester City last season he resolved never to let it happen again.
He changed from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3. And this season he has gone to a 4-2-3-1 for virtually every game of the campaign.
The formation is fine but the selection is wrong.
Because even the notoriously defensive Jose Mourinho only uses two defensive midfielders – Nemanja Matic and Ramires – when Chelsea have a really tough away trip.
For the rest of the time Matic shields the defence and the far more creative Cesc Fabregas plays alongside him – 6 defenders is more than enough after all.
But Louis has gone too far by essentially picking 7 defenders – De Gea in goal, 4 across the back and 2 proper anchor men who have one goal between them all season.
The simple solution, and one which might yet save Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, is to deploy a more creative talent alongside the anchor man.
And he has so many options. We would bring Wayne Rooney back there – he’s lost his pace but not his eye for a sublime pass.
Alternatively he could use Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini or even Juan Mata in that role.
This allows for an extra attacker in the side and would also provide much a needed link between defence and attack. Because, at the moment, there is none.
Louis needs to pull his finger out. He should be far more concerned about not winning rather than not losing. That’s what Manchester United fans want and expect.