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Manchester United's pre-season tour of the USA was our first chance to see Louis van Gaal's philosophy in action.
LvG has traditionally been a 4-3-3 man, but he used a highly successful version of 5-3-2 at the recent World Cup in Brazil, taking the Netherlands all the way to the semi-finals.
Famously, United have employed a variation of 4-4-2 for many years, with Sir Alex Ferguson cementing the tactic as his most famous formation.
And 4-4-2 brought United almost unlimited success from 1990 to 2013.
Twenty-three years is a long time to stick with a system—but it has been evident in recent times that the formation is now flawed—certainly United's version of it.
David Moyes tried desperately to play 4-4-2 during the 2013-14 season, but his insistence eventually saw him lose his job.
United needed a new philosophy, and this is one of the primary reasons the board chose Van Gaal.
5-3-2 is not the revolution that many believe—but it certainly is the evolution that the Red Devils have needed—since the day Ferguson retired.
The new system allows United to use their best players in their preferred positions, and ultimately this will mean that the team scores more goals and wins more games.
Certainly, there is still a risk to results if United do not replace Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra.
But Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling all suit the new formation, allowing them to squeeze the play and carry the ball up the pitch, as both Jones and Evans like to do.
If United can carry the tactical improvements that we have witnessed in pre-season into the new campaign, they will most certainly compete at the top end of the table.