Louis Van Gaal is widely regarded as one of the most flexible managers in world soccer. Not only has he previously changed tactics throughout his tenures with Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Holland, but he has often done so at the right time and into the perfect system.
Now that he is at Manchester United much has been made of his decision to adopt a 3-5-2 formation, but Van Gaal has now come out and insisted that he will use many different systems during his time at Old Trafford.
“It’s not difficult I think to change the formation, because when we buy a player we also see the positions he can play in other systems,” he explained to The Guardian. “When you see what we have bought, you can see that.”
Over the summer, United bought Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo, and they now arguably have the strongest squad in the Premier League.
Van Gaal admitted that he is constantly analysing the entire set-up at United to try and figure out the best way forward for the club. “I’m always for evaluation, I’m not only evaluating the players but I’m evaluating myself and my staff. Now we have a lot of injuries so I’m evaluating why and I changed my preparation scheme because of that. I have changed also what we have to do after the match, I have changed the schedule of times. I am always evaluating myself.”
As usual, the Dutch coach made sure to point out that his track record at previous clubs proves that he knows exactly what he is doing too. “That philosophy has brought a lot of titles, I’m sorry to say that. I don’t think that [the system] is the most important thing. The important thing is philosophy and that’s always the same. I observe and then decide. I don’t have any worries about that. I’ve done that for more than 25 years. We shall see who is playing tomorrow. For a coach it is always easy because he can decide and he decides what he sees, at least I do.”
Despite a very disappointing start to the season, which saw United draw two and lose two of Van Gaal’s first four games at the club, the Red Devils finally tasted victory as manager of the Old Trafford outfit on Sunday as his new players inspired United to a 4-0 victory over lowly QPR.
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