MANCHESTER UNITED BEAT LA GALAXY 7-0 AT THE ROSE BOWL IN LOUIS VAN GAAL’S FIRST GAME IN CHARGE
VAN GAAL TRIES OUT NEW FORMATION; CLAIMS SQUAD IMBALANCED
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has claimed that his squad is ‘not balanced’ despite a 7-0 victory against LA Galaxy, watched by 86,432 people in his first game in charge.
Goals by Danny Welbeck, plus braces for Wayne Rooney, 20-year old defender Reece James, and Ashley Young gave Van Gaal a goal-laden start to his United career.
United operated in a 3-4-1-2 formation, similar to the Dutch tactics deployed by Van Gaal during the 2014 World Cup.
Van Gaal explained that the change of formation from United’s traditional winger-led approach was due to an imbalance in the squad make-up.
While it is too early to say if this is a hint of future transfer decisions it was certainly a tactic that allowed Van Gaal to get a look at several important United players.
“We have four number 10s, so it is not balanced in my eyes,” said Van Gaal who fielded Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa during the victory at the Rose Bowl.
“We have only played this system twice on the training pitch but the boys are willing to pick up the information.
“We can play better with this system because we have four strikers. When we play 4-3-3 I have three strikers on the bench, and that is not good.” he added.
As well as the three central attacking players, United deployed Johnny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as a back three with Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia as wing-backs in the first half.
They were protected in midfield by captain-for-the-night Darren Fletcher and new signing Ander Herrera, both of whom offered an effective shield in front of the newly styled defence and played the full 90 minutes.
Van Gaal had already begun making changes to the Old Trafford training set-up at their Carrington complex by asking for two pitches to be relaid using the same Desso grass/artificial surface as at Old Trafford and requested extra trees to be planted to reduce the effect of gusts of wind during training.
United play Roma in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday. The game is the club’s first in the International Champions Cup.
They will then play games against Inter Milan on July 29 and Real Madrid on August 2.