Van Gaal's first experiment: Failed
Luis Van Gaal fielded a 3412 formation that made me remember his Dutch team in the last World Cup, with a lot of young players and two wide midfielders that weren't wing back’s, neither wingers. But Premier League proved to be very different from a World Cup, instead of defending, big home teams are intended to attack in order to sum all three points, and not to defend in order to get a draw, or “qualify to the next round” via penalty kicks or an isolated counter attack. Under these assumptions, Van Gaal’s proposal failed to achieve an offensive collective game, especially lacking connection between wide midfielders (constantly forced to go back), and the attacking trio (Mata, Hernandez and Rooney).
After a great collective play performed by Swansea’s attackers, that left United one goal down, Van Gaal decided to change the formation for the second half, fielding Nani instead of Hernandez, switching to a classic 4231 system, which showed much more offensive fluency, and lead to tie the match in the first minutes of the second half. Everything seemed to be better for United, but another excellent collective play by Swansea got them one up again, and then, United lost everything they had built in the second half, to struggle and finally loose the first game of the season, a home game that made everyone remember the horrors of the last season. Still a lot of work to do for Luis lads.
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