LONDON (AFP) – Graeme Souness believes Manchester United face a lengthy transition period if manager Louis van Gaal’s favoured 3-5-2 formation is to succeed at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal has still to oversee his first Premier League win as United boss, with the faltering English giants having lost to Swansea on the opening day and been held to draws by both Sunderland and Burnley.
Meanwhile the Dutchman also suffered the embarrassment of seeing United knocked out of the English League Cup following a 4-0 defeat by third-tier Milton Keynes Dons.
Liverpool and Scotland midfield great Souness questioned whether United had the players in their squad to set-up with three at the back.
“If Van Gaal is determined to persist with a back three, this is going to be a long and painful transition for United,” the former Liverpool, Rangers, Blackburn and Southampton manager wrote in his Sunday Times column.
“The team may take until November to settle down. You ain’t going to win the league if you take that long and you might not make the Champions League places either,” Souness added.
“United have already dropped seven points from a possible nine. If you continue with three at the back and the results are not improving, players will not be slow in turning round and pointing their fingers at the coach, saying, ‘It’s not that I am not playing well, it’s the system’.”