Louis van Gaal: Manchester United 'not balanced', says new manager

By Simon StoneBBC Sport in Los Angeles
Wayne Rooney Manchester United
Wayne Rooney scored twice in Manchester United's 7-0 win against LA Galaxy

New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his squad is imbalanced, despite beating American side LA Galaxy 7-0 in his first game in charge.

Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and debutant defender Reece James all scored twice in the pre-season win in front of 86,432 at the Rose Bowl in California.

However, Van Gaal, 62, says his squad has too many playmakers, operating in a free role behind the main striker.

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"We have four number 10s, so it is not balanced in my eyes," said Van Gaal.

Van Gaal has already spent £56m on full-back Luke Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera since becoming United's manager in the summer.

But Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice chairman, says there is more money available.

"There is no fixed budget," said Woodward. "Financially we are extremely strong. We want to do what it takes to win the title."

With Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa all playing some part at the Rose Bowl, Van Gaal decided to use the 3-4-3 formation that proved so successful when he was in charge of the Netherlands and guided them to the World Cup semi-finals.

Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones formed a back three with Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia operating in wing-back positions, although they were replaced by James and Rafael for the second half.

After Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, his replacement David Moyes struggled as United manager and was sacked in April before Ryan Giggs took over until the end of the season.

Reece James Manchester United
Substitute Reece James (centre) scored twice in Manchester United's 7-0 win against LA Galaxy

The club came seventh in the Premier League in 2013-14, their lowest top-flight finish since 1989-90, and Van Gaal is prepared to try new formations, instead of playing their usual 4-3-3.

"When you want to change a system, you must start at once," he said. "We have only played it twice on the training pitch but the boys are willing to pick up the information.

"We can play better with this new system because we have four strikers. When we play 4-3-3 I have three strikers on the bench, and that is not good."

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