Garry Monk defends Louis van Gaal's Manchester United tactics

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Swansea boss Garry Monk has leapt to the defence of Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, insisting that the Dutch coach is doing a good job in his first season in the Premier League.

Van Gaal has come in for criticism from fans for his reluctance to change from his favoured 3-5-2 system, while West Ham boss Sam Allardyce branded the Red Devils a 'long ball' team in their recent 1-1 draw.


Van Gaal produced a four-page dossier to refute Allardyce's claims, but after their most recent lacklustre display against Preston in the FA Cup, fans have urged the Manchester United boss to change his formation to a 4-4-2.

Swansea take on Manchester United in the Premier League this weekend hoping to consolidate their position in the top four and move closer to Champions League qualification - and Monk says the fact that Van Gaal opted to go long in the final minutes against West Ham, a tactic which helped Daley Blind bag his equaliser - shows he is adaptable to different situations.

Long ball

"I watched that game and I think the long balls I saw were in the last five minutes, which quite rightly they used to their strength with Fellaini in a forward position," Monk said.

"There's no problem with that whatsoever. It actually shows good strength that they can be adaptable. I understand what was said but in this game nowadays you have to be adaptable," he told reporters.

"You can't just have one set way of playing and I think Manchester United have done that well this season. They've got fantastic players and play fantastic football, they can mix it up and that's what a good team can do.


"They can adapt their style for any given moment or period of the game and that was the case against West Ham."

Swansea inflicted Van Gaal's first loss as Manchester United boss on the first day of the season, and is confident they can repeat the trick even without star striker Wifried Bony who left in the January transfer window to join Manchester City.

"Let's not forget they've only lost one of their last 15 league games so they're very effective whatever way they play," Monk said. "It takes time as a manager to implement ideas. He's gone in there with a couple of systems and the new way of training, and that takes time.

"The run they've been on and where they are in the league show what he does works. They're already taking his things on board and I can only see them going from strength to strength."


Louis van Gaal was rightly annoyed by the insinuation that his Manchester United team are a long ball outfit - as Bob Paisley said there is no long ball or short ball, just the right ball - and he was proved right when Blind put the ball into the back of the net. 

The greater worry for Van Gaal is that his side are simply not playing attractive football at the moment, although a win against a struggling Swansea side could prove to be the perfect antidote to his woes.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal

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