Van Gaal says he’s ‘forced’ to play wing backs

by Richard Laverty

Louis van Gaal believes he is ‘obliged’ to play with wing backs given the players available to him at Manchester United.

Van Gaal implemented the 3-5-2 system right from the off at Old Trafford but with little success. When players were brought in and ready to play, a diamond formation was tested with better results before van Gaal chose his preferred 4-3-3 system in big games against Chelsea and Manchester City.

There’s no doubt United looked sturdier with two defensive midfielders as opposed to one but with a lack of top quality wingers available, the side looked more dangerous going forward in the diamond system.

But with injuries still restricting the manager, the 3-5-2 returned in the last month or so and despite a string of unconvincing performances, United haven’t conceded more than one goal in any game since the 2-2 draw against West Brom and went on a run of six wins in a row.

But despite that, van Gaal sounds like a man who doesn’t wish to continue with the system and believes he has no choice at the moment.

“I am more or less obliged to play with wing backs. I am forced to do so,” said the Dutchman.

Van Gaal also chose to use the system in the World Cup with the Netherlands due to an injury which kept Kevin Strootman out of the tournament.

With the Roma midfielder heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, he could be the jigsaw piece which allows van Gaal to return to his tried and tested 4-3-3 system.

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