• Premier League

Van Gaal to stick with 3-5-2 formation

ESPN staff
July 24, 2014
Louis van Gaal was all smiles as Manchester United cruised to a 7-0 win in his first game in charge © Getty Images

Louis van Gaal has admitted a lack of "balance" in the Manchester United squad he inherited from David Moyes will see him stick with the three-man central defence he employed in his first game in charge.

United adopted a 3-5-2 formation against LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl on Thursday morning similar to that used by Van Gaal with the Netherlands at the World Cup.

They put in an impressive display as they cruised to a 7-0 victory and Van Gaal stressed afterwards he will use the formation for the coming season in order to get an extra striker on the pitch.

"We introduced a new system that we have only played two times on the training pitch 11 v 11. But the boys are willing to pick up the information," said Van Gaal.

"It is fantastic how they have performed today. Last week, 10 players who played tonight were not even in our training complex.

"When you want to change a system, you must start at once. We don't have time to prepare for other things.

"The other system they can play is 4-3-3 and they have played it for many years.

"I can change back if the system doesn't work. With the quality of the players we have, I can play 4-3-3 with three strikers on the bench, but I want to play with two strikers.

"We have four No 10s, so the selection is not balanced in my eyes. I have decided to play this system because of the quality of the players.

"But if we lose, I can change back to another system."

New signings Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera both started in Pasadena with the Spaniard particularly impressive in central midfield.

Danny Welbeck opened the scoring before Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and full-back Reece James each grabbed two goals apiece with Van Gaal left purring by the "beautiful" performance.

"When you see us train, you can expect something but not 7-0," Van Gaal added. "It was a surprise, but they were also beautiful goals.

"It was not just the goals, but the beautiful attacks. I never go back, I always want to see the future.

"When I see my team playing a new system, it is better to win 7-0 than to lose because the players will then doubt the system. But now I don't have that problem."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close