Ideal Manchester United Starting 11 under Van Gaal

Ideal Manchester United Starting 11 under Van Gaal

Manchester United
Wikimedia: Steve Collis

With the acquisition of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, United’s starting eleven in the new season should look very interesting.

New coach Louis Van Gaal, although busy with the World Cup, has already had a very big influence. There are multiple ways United’s starting eleven could vary.

With the departure of long term players Vidic and Ferdinand, it will be interesting to see what Manchester United’s back four will look like. For now, United has not purchased any center backs to substitute the legendary pair. United would probably enjoy playing 4-3-3 as their main tactic that transforms into 4-4-2 if necessary.

Under the scenario of 4-3-3, the midfield would have two holding midfielders in the faces of Carrick, however, that could be changed if Van Gaal purchases someone for that role. New signing Herrera will be Carrick’s partner in the holding midfield area. With Mata or Kagawa sitting a little bit upfront and being more creative and forward looking midfielder.

Van Gaal would prefer to play with three up top, with Robin Van Persie upfront, as Van Gaal’s country man is considered his main choice for the CF position. While Rooney and Januzaj or Valencia would be situated on the wings.

Van Gaal could also prefer to play a more defensive style of play with a 4-3-3 formation that could turn into 4-4-2 with one sub.  The defense would look the same, but with Rafael playing the right back.

Possible lineup (4-3-3): Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Rooney, Van Persie, Januzaj. Subs: Evans, Fellaini, Fletcher, Welbeck, Young, Valencia, Kagawa

The 4-3-3  formation is very convenient for United. Having Van Persie upfront and Rooney- Januzaj on the wings, makes it a perfect formation for fast counter attacks. By subbing off Rooney or Mata for a wide player, it could easily turn to 4-4-2. This way, United could control the ball and attack from the wings, use the width of the pitch and possess the game.

Possible formation (4-4-2): Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Valencia, Rooney, Van Persie, Januzaj. Subs: Evans, Fellaini. Fletcher, Welbeck, Young, Mata, Kagawa, Chicharito

These options are looking great for Manchester United, especially with the squad they have right now. However, Van Gaal should be looking to strengthen the central defense area. Furthermore, Van Gaal should clean up the bench and add new blood to the central midfield area and the wings, which look pretty old and lackluster.



  1. 1. LVG needs to buy a 20++ goal striker as he cannot count on van Persie and Rooney as both players are injury-prone and no one else on the squad can score goals. In particular, Rooney has given up on his career as he is now addicted to the pursuit of hedonistic pleasures – smoking, drinking, stuffing his fat face with greasy foot and inventing reasons not to perform his duty on the field, but instead enjoy “warm-weather” convalescing in Qatar. A horrible role model who will make no effort to bring along the new younger players.

    2. As they have shown conclusively that they are not improving, he must cut his loses and sell Cleverley, Smalling, Young, Nani, Anderson, Zaha and Welbeck.

    3. He must replace them with U.K. players to ensure he remains onside of the HGPR.

    4. He must buy two centre backs who are ruthless and who will strike terror in the hearts of opposing players (to replace Vidic and Ferdinand).

    5. He must sign a world-class midfielder who can control the field and score goals (to replace Scholes and Keane).

    6. He needs to find a way to get past the numerous “I-want-to-play-in-only-one-position” prima donna’s who must embrace the will to grow in their careers and become flexible (see Philip Lamb) and make a contribution.

    7. He needs to find a way to improve the performance of worthy squad players – Fellaini, Hernandez, Jones, Evans, Carrick, Valencia and Fletcher. If they do not improve, then sell them in 2015.

    8. The only 2014 players who are “untouchable” are – van Persie, Rooney, De Gea, Mata, Rafael, Lindegaard, Kagawa and Januzaj. All other players must be sold or put on probation.

    9. If Man U aspire to defeat the likes of PSG, Bayern, City, Chelsea, Barca, Madrid etc., then they must make numerous drastic changes. Fortunately, the new “Chevrolet” and “Adidas” contracts mandate certain performance criteria which can only be achieved through a complete overhaul of the team.

    10. Finally, Ferguson should be gracious enough to admit in public that he is responsible for the debacle at Old Trafford and beg the forgiveness of the Man U. supporters as under his watch he was the architect of this catastrophe. Returning his knighthood would also be well received by his adoring fans whom he screwed over without any remorse.