Fiji Time: 9:50 PM on Wednesday 26 November

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

New United formation

Afp
Monday, July 28, 2014

LONDON - Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata yesterday gave his seal of approval to the tactical system introduced by new manager Louis van Gaal.

Having set United out in a 3-4-1-2 formation for their opening pre-season friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday, with Mata playing in support of the two strikers, Van Gaal saw his new charges stroll to a 7-0 win.

The 62-year-old coach used a similar formation with the Netherlands at the World Cup, where he guided his country to a third-place finish, and Mata believes it could bring out the best in him.

"If I play behind the two strikers, it's a good position," the Spanish international told BBC Sport.

"I can look for the ball, I can try to assist or score, so I will try my best. I will try to score as much as I can and try to help the team from that position.

"If I have to play on the wing, I will try my best as well, but I feel comfortable in this role."

Only a handful of sides deployed a three-man defence in the English Premier League last season, and Mata feels it could give United an edge.

"It can be very dangerous for the opponent," he said. "It is difficult for them to play against us in this formation."

Van Gaal has made a strong impression since succeeding the sacked David Moyes, chiding his players during public training sessions and openly criticising the club's heavy pre-season schedule.

Mata revealed the Dutchman was also making his presence felt in the changing room by forcing all players to communicate only in English.

"We only speak in English," said the former Chelsea player. "He says we have to speak in English.

"He is very good, on and off the pitch. He is a good man and a great manager."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Couple return to Fiji after almost a decade
  2. Indecent jokes warning
  3. Medal for a saviour
  4. Man behind the change
  5. Ryan departs for Dubai ahead of sevens team
  6. Nanai-Williams opts for Samoa over New Zealand
  7. The real deal
  8. Eighteen receive Order of Fiji
  9. $67.7m expected
  10. Maritime travel advice

Top Stories this Week

  1. Modi-fied Thursday (20 Nov)
  2. WHAT FIJI WILL GET Thursday (20 Nov)
  3. PM says sorry Thursday (20 Nov)
  4. Big cheer for a PM of good tidings Thursday (20 Nov)
  5. Budget Friday (21 Nov)
  6. Deal on NZ jobs Monday (24 Nov)
  7. Stop the bickering Tuesday (25 Nov)
  8. No regrets Tuesday (25 Nov)
  9. Patel guilty of abuse Friday (21 Nov)
  10. President Xi leaves impression on leaders Monday (24 Nov)