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LVG: 'I feel a twitch in my a** everytime I play 4-4-2'


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal says he feels an uncomfortable "twitch" in his backside every time Manchester United play 4-4-2.

Van Gaal faced open criticism from United fans for the first time last week when a section of the travelling support at Loftus Road demanded he ditch his 3-5-2 formation and switch to a more expansive 4-4-2 system.

The manager heeded their words and the move paid off as United beat QPR 2-0, but the United manager did not enjoy the victory as much as he would have liked.

Van Gaal accepts results show United are more effective when they line up in a 4-4-2 system, but he is so concerned about his team's vulnerability that he finds it distinctly uncomfortable to watch.

Alex Ferguson famously described the final stages of a close contest as "squeaky bum time" and Van Gaal has now coined his own take on the sensation he feels at similar periods.

"We have won more with 4-4-2 in a diamond, but when you analyse the game then we have twitched our a** on the bench," the United manager said.

"I have twitched my a** because we were out of balance. I told my players I was squeezing my a** but it was the wrong expression.

"All the matches when we play 4-4-2 like against West Ham United (when 10-man United scraped a 2-1 win) it was always twitching your a** and I don't like it."

Van Gaal finds it far easier to sit and watch his team play in the 3-5-2 system which he used successfully with Holland at the World Cup.

His enthusiasm for three at the back is not shared by several pundits though.

Ex-United stars Gary Neville and Michael Owen joined the fans who were at Loftus Road in criticising the system this week.

Former captain Neville believes United are "too slow" and "predictable" when they play three centre-backs while ex-England striker Owen claimed Van Gaal's men were not functioning properly as a team.