Louis van Gaal has confirmed he intends to use a 4-3-3 formation with Manchester United in the Premier League next season.
Questions had been asked over what formation Man United would use as Van Gaal adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation on the pre-season tour, with two deeper lying midfielders, rather than the traditional 4-3-3 which he has used throughout his managerial career.
However, it seems the 4-2-3-1 formation was something which Van Gaal adopted for the pre-season tour rather than as a permanent switch.
When asked about his tactical choices on tour, Van Gaal said: “That the midfielder is [sometimes] in front of the striker is not bad because I think you do need variation in your attack,” said van Gaal, in a press conference following the final tour match against PSG.
“I like that and I ask for that, especially from Memphis. It can also be Carrick or Schweinsteiger or Schneiderlin once in a while but mostly Memphis. It depends on our opponents.”
When further questioned on his formation choice for next season, Van Gaal added: “More or less 4-3-3. We played that already last season, in the second half of the season, and I have said that is the system I want to use. We played in our shape [on tour] and played how we have to play. That’s also where I have been very satisfied.”
It does beg the question – why would Van Gaal not have used 4-3-3 on the pre-season tour if he intended to use it in the Premier League?
Maybe it was his way of getting to see more out of his midfield options as using a 4-3-3 would have only allowed him to play on deeper lying midfielder.
Regardless of the choices behind his decision, United fans will simply be happy to hear that Van Gaal intends to stick to the 4-3-3 formation which the squad now compliments.
The pace of Memphis Depay on the wings, combined with the overlapping runs of both Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian, will give United real threat on the counter-attack and that’s something they didn’t have in abundance last season.
Next season is a big one for United. Having finished fourth, Van Gaal now has a platform he can build on and with five new signings added to the six he made last summer, he now has his own squad to use.