In my casual conversations about football, I usually tell friends that football is not an easy junk. There is a lot of science and luck involved in the most popular sport on the planet.
Football coaching is one of the hardest jobs or professions you can find at the highest level in the world. It’s even more sophisticated and time demanding as compared to medical profession or the engineering profession.
In coaching, you need to combine many technics and apply them at the same time in order to produce good results. To become a good manager, you need a lot of acquired and in-born qualities. Of course football is business and very competitive worldwide.
My topic of interest today is about the Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal and his tactics to make united a competitive team at the top of Barclays English Premier League.
Usually to set up a good system in any team is not easy and you always need to deploy some exceptional brilliance or work ethics to succeed. This has been seen in highly ranked sporting managers like Sir Alex Ferguson and current Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.
I have closely watched Manchester United games against CSKA Moscow in the Uefa Champion League games and their last weekend Manchester derby against rival’s Man City.
Both matches ended in a draw but with united struggling tactically. He seems to have fixed his first choice defenders and midfielders but his options upfront are questionable.
The arrival of former AS Monaco goal machine Anthony Martial had been seen as the best input for Manchester United team that has relied on striking services of Wayne Rooney for a long time.
Martial was signed at the end of summer transfer period and made an immediate impact during his first stats in the United squad.
Manchester United was on rise in terms of performance during the month of October given the fire-power inspiration from the French man.
At Manchester United; Martial has scored goals and set-up goals in every match of his game as the number nine or center-forward.
But things seem to have changed when Louis Van Gaal changed his position from center-forward to strike from wings as seen in the latest united games against CSKA Moscow and Manchester City.
In both games, martial has been struggling to beat defenders despite his strength with pace to burst in spaces and score goals.
Martial’s physical strength especially in the air, pace and shooting ability makes him a complete center-forward but not an out-wide winger or striker.
In the two previous united games, martial has played an out-wide striker role and has struggled to break in the penalty box to score goals.
Rooney has been deployed as the center-forward and the Englishman seem to be uncomfortable as compared to situations where he plays as number 10 position. There is an indication of tactical misfit from the Dutchman.
When you look at the latest united formations upfront; there is total gambling on who to start in the exact position.
We have seen Martial, Wayne Rooney, Mephis Depay, Juan Mata, Herrera and Maroune Fellaini playing in different positions and this might not be productive for united because to win games you need well-coordinated players to score goals and win games.
LVG might suffer depression in performance as has been seen with Jose Mourinho of Chelsea in case he fails to use his French forward rightly.
LVG was lucky to escape an injury plagued Manchester City side that was missing creative services of David Silva, Sergio Aguerro and Samir Nasir.
Manchester City did not perform well against united and LVG survived an upset at home. This weekend united travels to Crystal Palace as many football experts eagerly await his plan for striking options.
Crystal Palace is a giant killer and performs well against big opposition. They have very good offensive style of play and will provide united a real test.
If United drop more points against the London side, this might put their chances at risk to win the premier league or finish in the top four teams.