Michael Owen has described the current Manchester United side as the worst the club has had for ‘decades’ and believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will struggle to even finish in the top six this season.
Manchester United have begun the new season in disappointing fashion, winning just two of their opening seven Premier League fixtures to languish in mid-table following Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
The Red Devils laboured to a 1-0 win over FC Astana and needed penalties to get past Rochdale in the last fortnight, and having watched his former side struggle to a goalless draw against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night, Owen was scathing in his assessment of United’s current plight.
Asked during his appearance as a pundit for BT Sport if United are now a ‘mid-table team’, Owen ominously replied: “Yes, I’d say so.
"It's a penalty 101 times out of 100!"
"How many times this season? We'd have been 2-0 up against Arsenal and 1-0 up here!" 😡
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 3, 2019
“I don’t think they’ll be top six this season, personally. Top half I think is likely, but just the fact we’re having this conversation is the worry, isn’t it?
“This has got to be the worst Manchester United team for decades, hasn’t it? Since before Sir Alex Ferguson took over.
“It’s been happening for a few years. For maybe five, six, seven, eight years you’ve been thinking ‘it can’t get any worse’, and it has.
“The point that I’d like to make is that in many ways, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has knowingly weakened his team.
“Getting rid of people like Lukaku, Herrera, [Matteo] Darmian, Sanchez, [Chris] Smalling. He knows he could improve his team with those players, but I think he’s taken the view that you’ve got to take a couple of steps backwards to then move forwards.
“He’s done that on purpose thinking, ‘Right, we’ve just got to rid ourselves of players that, OK they’re probably better than what we’ve got, but are they going to take us to where we want to go?’
“That answer is no, then you’re almost starting from scratch and I think that’s what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done.”
See also – 10 of Michael Owen’s most stupid quotes