Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was forced to defend his tactics after his side limped to a 2-0 victory over bottom-three side Queens Park Rangers.The Dutchman sent the Red Devils into action at Loftus Road in an unorthodox 3-3-2-2 formation, one that the struggling R’s were able to pick apart regularly in the first half.Angel Di Maria started up front alongside Radamel Falcao, who missed a host of good chances, but United were unable to gain control.Travelling United fans chanted “attack, attack, attack” and even “four-four-two, four-four-two” in demanding a system change – and eventually the Red Devils’ boss relented.The switch to a 4-4-2 diamond bore fruit, with Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson scoring in the final 30 minutes to secure three points, but Van Gaal felt it would have been risky to start with that set-up.“I know in advance that when we play with four midfielders in a diamond that we create more chances, but then the balance of the team is also weak,” said the manager.“And you’ve seen it because we had created chances but so had QPR.“We have to decide every week how we have to play. And that’s the question.“But also with the other system we played against Tottenham Hotspur, maybe you remember the first half we created maybe six or seven more chances than today, and we didn’t score.“So it’s always the question, are you effective enough?“Against Southampton away we scored two out of three chances and we won the game.“But it was not because we were the better team at that time.“Last week we were the better team, but in football it is not always the better team who wins.“In the first half we played like QPR wanted.“We did the same thing as QPR, playing through the air, long balls, and QPR were better.“In the second half we changed the shape and that helped also.” 1
0 Comments Share Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I went back and looked at that tape and clearly Todd Bowles owned Mike Shula, the Carolina offensive coordinator.”The Panthers did amass 353 yards of offense, but the Cardinals sacked Carolina quarterback Cam Newton seven times and forced four turnovers. “In that game, Todd Bowles blitzed Cam Newton on 27 of 47 dropbacks — that’s over 50 percent of the time,” Jaworski said. “On those 27 blitzes, Newton went 10-of-20, was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions.“Clearly, Todd Bowles had the number of Cam Newton, Mike Shula and the Carolina offense. That’s why I think Carolina will lose this game, because of the blitzes.”This season against the blitz, Newton has been decent. The fourth-year quarterback has completed 57.5 percent (84-of-146) of his passes for 1,074 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. LISTEN: Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL analyst The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The last time Arizona and Carolina met on the football field, the Cardinals beat the Panthers 22-6.However, that was 453 days ago. It shouldn’t have much of a bearing on what happens when the same two teams meet in an NFC Wild Card playoff game Saturday in Charlotte, should it?ESPN NFL insider Ron Jaworski thinks it does.“I went back to the game last year played between the Cardinals and the Panthers. I know the players are different, but the coaches are not,” he told Burns and Gambo Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I’m a big believer that coaches coach against coaches. They don’t change a whole lot, coaches don’t. Other coaches know what to expect and how to line up and play them.