Louis van Gaal explains his strategy behind Manchester United's recent resurgence
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed the secret behind his side’s impressive recent form, that has propelled them back in the race for a spot in next season’s Champions League.
United have won their last four Premier League encounters, ever since their loss to Swansea last month and are currently in 4th position with 59 points in 30 matches.
The 63-year-old said that the formation of triangles are key to his plans and he prefers to have a holding midfielder play behind the forwards.
“It’s always dependent on the players involved, but everybody knows the system I prefer is 1-4-3-3 with a No.10 or No.6. A holding midfielder or a No.10player behind the strikers,” van Gaal told Sky Sports.
“It’s dependable of the quality of the players, but also of the opponent. But I prefer it because that’s the easiest system to dominate the game because it is over the whole pitch triangles and that gives the players always two options at least,” he added.
The Dutchman, though, did admit that he has played with other systems as well, based on the caliber of players he had under his disposal.
“But I have played with several other systems because of the quality of the players who were available in that moment,” he said.
The former Barcelona manager further said that his side performed better than the opponents and while they may not have looked the most elegant in their style of play, they have got the desired results, on more occasions than not.
“I think that in general we were the better team.So when you analyze our teams I think only three or four times the opponents were better in dominating or playing the game, so that’s also important.
“In attractiveness I think we could have done better, but very important are also the results,” van Gaal said.
He further said that the United players know him much better than the media does and added that he wants the players to agree to what he wants them to do.
“For a manager it is always better to give compliments than always corrections.I think the players know me in another way than the media.
“I asked the players what they find - but I have a lot of corrections. But they have to agree with me otherwise they cannot perform it the next time,” the former Netherlands manager said.
The veteran manager also said that while most of the players don't come up to him to tell him when he had gone wrong, but did say that if they have a good explanation as to why the particular tactic went awry, they can approach to do the same.
“Most of the players doesn’t dare to do that, but they can when they have good arguments. I listen to their arguments. That’s the main thing. I listen to their arguments and when the argument is better than my argument then maybe I change my opinion,” he said.
If you don’t listen to him, you will be sent home packing: Fellaini
Talking about the Dutchman’s style of working, midfielder Marouane Fellaini said that he was a very strict coach, but the club needed to have somebody like him. The Belgian further said that van Gaal’s word was final and any player who didn't adhere to it has no place in the team.
“The coach is very strict, but that’s good. We needed such a coach. Last season we had a bad season. We even missed European qualification. We needed a coach who would put some players’ feet back on the ground.
“If he says something, you should do it. Otherwise you’ll fly out of it (the team),” the 27-year-old said.