Gary Neville urges United to take more risks.


Manchester United need to take more risks when they have the ball.

The Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has been using the 3-5-2 formation for most of the season and most recently at Loftus Road where they won 2-0 over the R's.

The Dutchman had to switch the formation to 4-4-2 after a few chants [4-4-2, attack, attack, attack] by the United away fans, and a few minutes after the change in system Maroune Fellaini found the back of the net.

The Reds looked more comfortable and played better as James Wilson increased the deficit late on in the game to seal the win for the Reds, maintaining their position in fourth place in the Premier League table.

However former United right-back Neville reckons the Manchester United players need to take more risk going forward rather than keeping possession of the ball all the time.

“It’s more impatience than unhappiness [from the United fans],” the Manchester United legend told Sky Sports.

“They haven’t been taking risks in the 3-5-2 system and in the first 57 minutes at QPR there were no goals, only five shots, four on target and 68% possession.

"Then, when they go to the back four, there’s less possession but goals, more shots and generally a far better performance from them in the last half hour.

“It’s partly the system but it’s a mentality thing as well. I’m not a fan of 3-5-2, when you play that, you end up with your centre backs being the free men and that becomes a careful option, then it kicks into your mentality: ‘I’ve always got a safer pass’.”

The former Manchester United captain also believes the centre backs have so much possession of the ball in the 3-5-2 system which affects the tempo of their game unlike the 4-4-2 formation which the Reds have been successful with in the past.

“They play the ball out from the back – as most good teams would – but the tempo is too slow. They play too many passes. Those back three players are on the ball far too much,” he said.

“In the first half on Saturday, Manchester United centre-backs had 114 passes of the ball. You look at the other teams that played away from home this weekend, Southampton (57), Chelsea (37), Arsenal (26) and it’s a miraculous difference.

“When they go to the back four in the second half it goes to 54 passes. It’s a big difference. They started looking at diagonal passes, playing risky ones, making QPR work and doing things that are unpredictable.”

Written by @Chukkymufc


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