Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal kept the United faithful waiting all summer, with many having begun to lose faith in the Dutchman’s powers, but in the end he delivered an impressive cohort of recruits to whet the appetite.
The big names bagged, especially Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, send out a powerful message that United are a still big club with a big future and has silenced critics who spoke about United all summer as a side on the wane and no longer a destination for elite players. That said things will have to be put right on the pitch urgently if last year’s nightmare season is to be confined to memory
In the aftermath of the rapturous response at these stupendous 11th hour signings, when the dust settles United fans must be wondering how is Louis van Gaal going to accommodate all these egos in one team. What line up will get the best out of the phenomenal talent at his disposal?
There is a suspicion, especially in the case of the Falcao signing, that van Gaal is seizing the opportunity to bring in big name players rather than recruiting based on specific needs, that the acquisitions serve as something of a status symbol to bolster the image of the club in the wake a severe blow to its confidence.
While the Falcao signing is great for the club and indeed the Premier League, the forward division is probably not the area of greatest concern at Old Trafford. With an abundance of attacking talent already on the books, a world class centre half may have been a more immediate concern.
What formation is van Gaal likely to adopt?
Being egotistical strikers, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney will all want to lead the line. New club captain Rooney may not share the fans’ jubilation at the Colombian’s arrival, as it could see him having to accept a withdrawn role rather be the focal point of the attack.
The Irish Independent suggested the following line up.
GK: De Gea
DF: Jones, Rojo, Shaw
MF: Herrera, Blind
WF: Mata, Di Maria
ST: Falcao, RVP
With Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao to form the striking partnership, Rooney could play just off the front two with Juan Mata and new signing Angel di Maria playing on the wings.
With this awesome attacking talent going forward, there will have to be someone to watch the house and new signing Daley Blind is the ideal candidate for this defensive midfield role, however he would probably need a dig out perhaps in the shape of Ander Herrera.
The back three would be Phil Jones Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw, if the latter ever manages to regain fitness. Louis van Gaal is known to favour this 3-5-2 formation which he used to great effect in the World Cup with The Netherlands.
The formation looks impressive on paper, time will tell what line up will actually ever be used on grass.
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.