Manchester United – Doing it the Barca way

Manchester United-undoubtedly the most talked about team in the premier league. The most decorated. Largest. And perhaps the greatest. However judging from last Sunday’s performance, they were far from best-very far. As admitted by Louis Van Gaal, United gave too much space to Arsenal, and they are too good a side to not take advantage of it.

 

Starting Ashley Young as a full back is perhaps one of the popular opinions and looks good in theory, unfortunately it simply isn’t a viable option. I personally think it might be time for a special LvG formation for United to avoid such slip ups again. Louis Van Gaal has advocated a back 3 rather than a back 4 at most clubs and teams he has managed. While that formation did fall flat on its face last season, with the addition of midfield maestros such as Schweinsteiger, it could bear fruit this time.

 

With the nonavailability of Luke Shaw due to injury and LvG’s reluctance to play Rojo at left-back, a back 3 might be the way to go. I do feel that playing a back 3 would result in LvG having more impact on his side, and we might just see a couple of master strokes. The strategy should be to place in midfielder more than your opponents, so that at a particular point, one man is free to release pressure, to provide an escape route. While the intricate pattern of football may continue, a direct approach can very well be executed with the addition of Fellaini. The possibility of playing 6 in midfield gives everyone the space to play in their ideal positions. Mata and Rooney both can act as number 10’s, while Depay and Valencia/Young can weave their magic on the flanks. employing a back 3 with such versatile players means that LvG can change the formation depending on the scoreline. 1-0 up, revert to a back 4, 1-0 down send Rooney further up-front.

Manchester United should operate the same way as Barcelona did in 2009 or so.Yes, Barcelona played a back 4 and yes they had well established defenders. Yes they also had the 2 gods of football Zlatan and Messi. Manchester United doesn’t have all that but i do believe United can execute similar plans. While we may not have the most ruthless defenders or the most talismatic goalscorers, we do have a bunch of extremely hardworking lads. Martial and Rooney can certainly form a formidable partnership up top. There might not be many similarities in the Barcelona team of 2009 and United’s present team on paper, however the core does look similar. Carrick, Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin are much like Barcelona’s trio of Xavi,Iniesta and Keita. De Gea and Valdes both formidable keepers, ironically both are currently with Manchester United.

The current United side too is keen on keeping possession of the ball just like Barcelona, and the philosophy of LvG and Pep is strikingly similar. One could argue that Pep had more quality, resources and less critics but LvG has made his presence felt everywhere in the world. If a Dutch side, dare I say, bereft of quality, can come 3rd in the world cup, Manchester United can surely rise to glory.While the fans don’t expect United to go and win everything there is to be won, they do expect United to win big matches. To score goals. To surprise everyone. To entertain. To make United scary again.To return as THE RED DEVILS.

Yug Dassani

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