QPR vs Manchester United: Fans chants weren't reason for formation switch, says Van Gaal

As well as playing three at the back Van Gaal pushed Angel di Maria forward to partner Radamel Falcao

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Louis van Gaal insisted it was not the chanting of Manchester United fans that persuaded him to change his formation during Saturday’s win at QPR.

United switched from three at the back to four after United fans chanted “four-four-two” and “attack, attack” at Loftus Road. Following an impotent first half United went on to win 2-0.

“I have to look at the players and I have to communicate with the players and observe the players,” said Van Gaal. “I cannot observe the fans because how many fans do Manchester United have? All over the world we’ve got 600 million. You cannot take into account 600 million opinions. To look at the players, to communicate with the players, to observe, to analyse and so on. That’s my job as a manager.”

Of his starting formation he said: “Before this match I have already thought about this shape and to play it. Then I look to my players in a training session and I look to my game plan and then I choose and that’s dependable, also, from what I see at the training ground.”

As well as playing three at the back Van Gaal pushed Angel di Maria forward to partner Radamel Falcao, a decision that was criticized by former United player Phil Neville on Match of the Day. Di Maria was played in attack, said Van Gaal, because he needed the Argentine’s pace to stretch the play and prevent QPR compacting midfield. He added that when he dropped Di Maria back into midfield James Wilson had to come on.

Wilson scored, but Falcao did not. Van Gaal, who was angered by pre-match comments from Jorge Mendes, Falcao’s agent, criticising the Colombian’s lack of match time, praised the players contribution – “I was very pleased” – while re-iterating he would treat everyone equally, regardless of reputation and pay packet.

“Every players gets his time. No matter who you are. I have to treat all of the players at the same level with the same rules and same demands. It’s difficult to understand because the outside world is thinking when you pay a lot for the player then you have to put him in the squad. I do not agree with that opinion. If a young player never gets a chance then I’m not a very good manager.”

Falcao himself said “I am very happy with the win. We were very close to scoring more and I could have had two goals. Sadly, the goalkeeper did very well and the other chances were not that clear.

“It was 90 very important minutes for me. I need to play and I am very happy that I did. Obviously, I really hope to score soon, but the opportunities will come, I am sure of that. I am fine. I feel really good. I am playing without any sort of fitness problems.”