Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has delivered his own memorable equivalent of Alex Ferguson’s “squeaky bum time” expression – declaring in defence of his controversial 3-5-2 system that the alternative 4-4-2 “makes my ass twitch”.
Van Gaal – who also appeared to dismiss any notion of Victor Valdes making his debut in the FA Cup against Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium tonight – has come under more criticism for the 3-5-2 this week.
But Van Gaal said the openness of the 4-4-2 set-up had left him anxious about conceding.
“I know that with 4-4-2 the stats are giving the positive results. We have won more with 4-4-2 in a diamond,” he said.
“But when you analyse the game then we have twitched our ass on the bench. I said to my players I was squeezing my ass but it was the wrong expression! I have twitched my ass on the bench because we were out of balance.”
Van Gaal said that playing Cambridge United is like facing QPR, and the League Two side’s aerial threat will be a danger in the FA Cup tonight. “QPR in the last match is more or less also how Cambridge play,” he said. “[Cambridge] have five or six players above 1 metre 90.”
Robin van Persie returns after an ankle injury and Luke Shaw is available. But they will be without Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans.