By Bob MacDonald
Van Gaal has followed on from Fergie and Moyes in playing quite a strict 4-4-2 formation, though he has changed slightly to a diamond midfield, not that you can actually notice.
The basis in their system is that the wide MF actually play as wingers (here come the Dinasoars) attacking and defending in straight lines. Defensively they do not tuck in, which leaves the CMF quite exposed, especially when using a diamond as the CMF play one in front of the other.
The FB’s use the flanks to attack, but they either support or at times overlap, Alf Ramsey did this in 1966!!!!
The 2 front play basically central, but often one behind the other.
Di Maria has recently being used as a crosser of the ball from wide areas, as was Beckham, no wonder Di Maria is apparently cheesed off, as he surely has much more to offer for £60 million quid.
On the other flank it is either Valencia or the young Belgian, again much of the same. And quite predictable.
United have two ways of playing this game, they will either be scared to death and defend deep (like Burnley and the lower teams) or be so arrogant that they attack with vigour.
Should they take the first option then it will be difficult for Arsenal, and the result could easily be a draw or a win for utd.
If they attack; then, sorry it is curtains for United.
I wonder how good/stupid Van Gaal actually is.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR ARSENAL?
If Utd go for all out attack then, Arsenal’s pace on the break will be vital, and hopefully productive.
Should they defend deep then patience from both players and crowd is imperative. Arsenal have enough creative players to be far too good for them, but do not expect goals to flow in the first half, a 0-0 at half time would not be the end of the world, especially as Arsenal always step it up in the second half when the opposition are tired of chasing the ball.
If Di Maria plays, then he will be up against Chambers (who did so poorly against Swansea). It will be important that The Ox helps, like he did for England, otherwise all could be lost.
Irrespective, Chambers has to get his defensive distances right, easy to do on the training pitch, but much more difficult in a high pressure game. This is where experience really counts………..please do not expect a 19 yr old to have experience; not possible.
Discipline, focus and intelligent decision making are very important, if Utd sit deep they will undoubtedly look for the long ball over the top. Arsenal must surely know this is coming and be organised to deal with it, RVP is not as quick as he was, so it really should not be beyond the capabilities of an intelligent team.
Mistakes can happen, and probably will. The only way to eradicate them is with individual concentration and determined team play.
Who plays for either team>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>who knows?
I am more than confident that on this occasion Arsenal WILL deliver.
When I wrote my article the hindsight managers and Bob MacDonald wrote his tactical article I thought it might be a great idea to challenge the hindsight managers to do what Bob now did without me knowing it.
So maybe the ones who claim the knowledge when the result is known would take this opportunity to give their own team sheets, tell us which tactics will be deployed on the day and how it will pan out. But give details just like Bob did.
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