Paul Scholes heavily criticises stagnant 3-5-2 formation

by Sam Peoples

Paul Scholes hasn’t held back in his criticism of the 3-5-2 formation which Manchester United are currently using under Louis van Gaal.

With six points from a possible 15 in the last five Premier League games, United have lost their way somewhat and are struggling to create goalscoring opportunities despite having so much attacking talent.

Citing a lack of width damaging United’s prospects going forward, Scholes also paid particular attention to the lack of pace which United currently have which is limiting their options.

“There is no doubt that 3-5-2 helps you keep the ball,” Scholes wrote in his latest column for The Independent.

“The three centre-halves and the three central midfielders can pass it around to their heart’s content. The problem comes when you try to hurt teams in attacking areas. You can have all the possession you like, but if you are not creating “2 v 1” situations where you outnumber your opposition and get behind them, then you are not going to score enough goals.”

We outlined a very similar argument in our analysis of the 3-5-2 formation and Scholes is spot on with his criticism. You can have all the possession in the world but if it doesn’t lead to your team winning, what’s the point? Goals win football games, not possesion.

“In a 3-5-2 formation, that width is just not there for United.” Paul Scholes

When United had the right personnel and they were in-form, the 3-5-2 was working to some degree. Ashley Young was creating all sorts of problems on the left and that width allowed him to create dangerous goalscoring situations. Luke Shaw hasn’t been able to replicate that form yet.

Will Louis van Gaal remain stubborn or see that United’s current formation is holding them back? With the return of Angel di Maria, fans are hoping to see the 4-4-2 diamond formation return as well.

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