Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v Man Utd

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 3 - 0 Liverpool

Sunday, 14 December 2014, 13:30

Barclays Prem

Smalling: United squad learning

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says the squad is learning and developing every day under new manager Louis van Gaal and his coaching staff.

Last Updated: 29/07/14 at 20:57 Post Comment

Chris Smalling: Manchester United defender looking forward to new season

Chris Smalling: Manchester United defender looking forward to new season

Smalling played in Van Gaal's new 3-4-1-2 system as the right-sided centre-back against LA Galaxy and the England international says he prefers that formation to the traditional 4-4-2.

The 24-year-old told Sky Sports News that he hopes United can employ the system as successfully as Van Gaal's Netherlands side did in finishing third in the World Cup.

He said: "We are very much looking forward to playing this formation. We obviously saw Holland's success in the summer and that gives us a lot of confidence that we can pick it up and do a good job.

"We've been learning each day and each day we have made gradual improvements and got better and better.

"I think if anything I like this more than the traditional 4-4-2 as it gives us a lot of freedom to go all the way in and be aggressive. As a defender I'd like to think that's my game."

Smalling, who is expected to play the whole 90 minutes as part of United's back three against Inter Milan at the FedEx Field, Washington DC on Tuesday, says communication is the key to making the new formation work.

"A lot of it is communication among the back three and the wing-backs as well. I think communication is the key and we all get on really well so I don't think that's going to be an issue," he said.

"The attacks start from the back and so there is a lot of emphasis for us to start those attacks and give the midfielders the ball in positions where they can go and hurt the opposition. There is a lot of building up from the back. Us defenders, we like to get involved.

"I think as defenders we all want to play and keep learning every day we will get better and better. Being comfortable, being able to take it into midfield and pass it quick; as that's our game, to give it to our attackers in those danger positions."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

heck Opta stats.... Sterling is already better than Alexis on pace and creativity and when he can match him physically he will be ten times the player Sanchez ever was or will be!!

hoggylfc
Rodgers: Sterling can be striker

I

expect Pulis to have a nice Christmas dinner with his family- probably all sitting around the table wearing Christmas themed baseball caps, before he gets the call. Realistically he could end up at any number of clubs, it'll be interesting to see which club folds first.

mark.m
For Foxes' Sake, Call The Pulis...

A

s a Liverpool fan, I personally hate Palace. My pick would probably be Arsenal, which is funny because it seems the vast majority of their own fans don't even like them right now.

mark.m
Who Has Got The Likeability Factor?

Footer 365

Premier League: Mario Balotelli handed one-match ban for social media post

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been given a one-match ban by the FA after his controversial post on social media.

Premier League: Agent confirms Hatem Ben Arfa is poised for a January transfer

Hatem Ben Arfa is set for a January move after finding himself unwanted at Newcastle and Hull, his agent has confirmed.

Liverpool: Kolo Toure says Adam Lallana is player of season

Kolo Toure has named Adam Lallana as Liverpool's player of the season despite Raheem Sterling's eye-catching form.

Mail Box

Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday...

There are an awful lot of folk claiming to share their birthdays with Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, while we have an Arsenal fan who doesn't want to be liked and more...

Manager Of The Month, My A***...

We have a Newcastle fan having a pop at his manager, some mild reaction to last night at Bournemouth, a justication of that Falcao cost and why the Neviller rules...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property