Van Gaal: 3-5-2 system gives Manchester United flexibility

The Dutchman has deployed the formation in both of the club's pre-season friendly wins - over LA Galaxy and Roma - this pre-season and has explained his reasons for the choice
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his 3-5-2 system gives him the ability to select more of his better players in his starting XI.

Van Gaal made the ideal start to his tenure in charge of United, leading them to a 7-0 friendly win over LA Galaxy, before the club recorded a 3-2 triumph over Roma to kick-start their International Champions Cup campaign.

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And ahead of their second match of the pre-season tournament against Inter in Maryland on Tuesday, Van Gaal explained his decision to utilise the formation, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Juan Mata all at the 62-year-old's disposal.

"That's why I chose this system, I can play them all. But Hernandez can also play in the striker's position, so can Welbeck," the Dutch tactician told Sky Sports.

"Rooney can play at number 10 and number nine and he tells me he can also play at number 11 and number seven, but I prefer him at number nine or number 10.

"When you look at the quality of your players you see Rooney, Van Persie, Hernandez, Mata, Welbeck, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Ander] Herrera – a lot of players can play this system.

"So with this system, two strikers can play, the number 10 can play, two midfielders can play, so the specialists become the wing-backs."

Van Gaal also revealed his reasons for accepting the United job, after being identified as the ideal successor to sacked David Moyes.

"It was not an instant 'yes' because I had other offers also. So I had to think about it," he said.

"But I chose 'yes' because of the big challenge. I have been at Ajax – the biggest club in the Netherlands – I went to Barcelona – the biggest club in Spain – and then I go to Bayern Munich, also the number one in Germany.

"So when Manchester United came I thought I had to say 'yes'."