Louis van Gaal plans to have Manchester United playing a 3-4-3 formation in the Premier League next season, and has built his transfer plans around bringing in players to fit that set up, according to reports.
The Daily Mail claims to have knowledge that the veteran coach is intent on shaking things up at Old Trafford, and will drastically alter the tactics previously used by David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson in order to spark United’s revival. Along with this it’s also thought that Van Gaal is desperate to incorporate Thomas Vermaelen into his team before next season, and will give Phil Jones the opportunity to prove himself at the heart of the defence as well.
The 3-4-3 formation
There’s a reason very few Premier League teams have experimented with the attacking 3-4-3 formation over the last decade, and it mainly has its roots in the fact that it can leave sides very susceptible defensively. The right personnel in the right positions are required to ensure success and, though Van Gaal has plenty of experience when it comes to the tactics board, there are a few key positions at United which would need to be addressed were it to work.
Firstly the system requires three very reliable defenders, one of whom has to be a natural leader capable of marshalling those around him. In this respect Vermaelen could prove to be an essential acquisition, and if the Mail’s claim that the Belgian would be deployed as libero is on point, it would allow Van Gaal to focus on the other two positions in his three-man back line.
It’s thought that Phil Jones will be given the chance to impress during United’s upcoming pre-season tour of the U.S, and so could finally find himself given a concrete position. The other defensive role could be afforded to Jonny Evans, though the likes of Mats Hummels and Mehdi Benatia may be more suited due to their pedigree.
The shake up
Thanks to the long reign of Sir Alex, United have become accustomed to things steadily rolling over from one season to the next, and so haven’t seen a large-scale shake up for quite some time. Unlike rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, the Red Devils may struggle to quickly evolve to become a team who can adapt to mass changes, and the first few weeks of the 2014/15 campaign could well be an experimental period.
For Van Gaal’s part however it would appear that the Dutchman has already devised what he appears to be the best plot moving forward. A change in formation will breathe new life into the squad and, if United can get their hands on a top quality ball-winner to partner Ander Herrera, they may well be a force to be feared once again.
United fans, do you think a switch to a 3-4-3 formation is the right thing for the club? Let us know in the comment box below...