Football

Louis van Gaal must start new attacking quartet

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It's time for a change: Louis van Gaal must know by now that he needs to mix things up at Old Trafford as he goes in search of securing a place in next year's Champions League for the Red Devils. 

In attack this term, despite the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria and Co. all plying their trade at the club, they've failed to produce the goods, and struggled to find any kind of rhythm. 

Something has been missing; the likes of Van Persie and Falcao haven't been anywhere near their sublime best, while Rooney has been placed out of position more often than not and club-record signing Di Maria hasn't been able to settle to life on English soil. 

In truth, it has all been a bit bizarre, but Van Gaal must put an end to it sooner rather than later. With Dutchman Van Persie out on the sidelines for the long term, now is the ideal chance to do what should have been done a long time ago. 

One striker

Perhaps, despite the many fine strikers at the club, Van Gaal should play just one forward, which would provide a greater balance to a side that has struggled to adapt to their new manager's tactics over the course of the campaign. 

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It's time to hand a new attacking quartet the opportunity to prove their credentials. Behind Rooney, Van Gaal should use Spaniard Juan Mata, who has endured a tricky time of it of late.

For one reason or another, the former Chelsea man has had to settle for a place on the bench, but must now be handed a permanent role. There's no doubt about it, with Rooney and Mata in the same team, United have so much more creativity in their side. 

The duo have the class and quality to form a fine partnership at the Theatre of Dreams, but have never really had the chance to prove it. 

The wings 

Then, with those two roaming around in the central areas of the attack, Van Gaal should play with two wingers. Despite his inconsistencies of late, Argentine superstar Angel di Maria should keep his place in the side, but perhaps should be handed a role on the right-wing. 

The ex-Real Madrid man has been moved around all over the place this term, but hasn't yet found his best position for the club. Di Maria starred on the right for Argentina earlier on in this campaign and was in magnificent form as his national side eased past world champions Germany by four goals to two. 

In fact, on that night in September, United's No.7 bagged a hat-trick of assists and scored a quite remarkable goal. Perhaps, then, he should be utilised down the right in the immediate future. 

That leaves the left-hand side of midfield. Belgian youngster Adnan Januzaj will no doubt become a superstar for Manchester United, but he should be used sparingly as he's failed to really make his mark this term. 

Young deserves his place 

It may prove slightly controversial, but the man that actually deserves a place in the side is Ashley Young. Ok, he has endured difficulties throughout his spell with the Red Devils, but he's looked inspired under Van Gaal. 

When played - and fit - he's enjoyed a great deal of success, but now needs to star on a consistent basis. With Young and Di Maria out on the wings, United have more than enough about them to hurt teams on the counter attack, while Rooney and Mata are certainly capable of both creating and scoring goals. Van Gaal must act - starting tomorrow against Sunderland. 

Manchester United fans: Do you agree? Who should start against Sunderland tomorrow? Have your say in the comments section below! 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Juan Mata
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United

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