Video: Manchester United branded as 'average' and 'embarrassing' by former players
Published 09/12/2015 | 08:08
Paul Scholes delivered a withering verdict of Manchester United in the immediate aftermath of their 3-2 Champions League defeat against Wolfsburg on Tuesday night, describing his former club as "an average team" with "no urgency, no threat and no quality".
United arrived in Germany with pressure heaped on them, knowing they had to equal the result of PSV Eindhoven who were playing CSKA Moscow.
The Dutch side triumphed 2-1, while an injury-stretched United team succumbed to their German opponents to send them out of the competition and leave them playing Europa League football for the rest of the season.
"There was no urgency, no threat and no quality," said BT Sport pundit Scholes.
"United just look like an average team, and with an average team you are going to get average performances.
"When you're relying on a 19 or 20-year-old to score your goals that's a problem. [Anthony] Martial is going to be brilliant player for Man Utd but they should not be relying on him, especially when you've spent £250m."
There was similar criticism from Scholes' punditry colleagues - and former United players - Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand.
"Tonight is no surprise," said Owen. "[United] have put themselves under pressure to deliver a mammoth performance to get through the group but this is the culmination of many matches.
"I don't look at it and just think of tonight or this season. I look at the 18 months that Van Gaal has been in charge.
"He's spent £250m-plus. They weren't in Europe last season so they had all the focus on the league and the cups but they got stuffed by MK Dons in the League Cup and were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup.
"It's 18 months of below par performances with all that money."
Asked if he thought Van Gaal's position was now under threat, Owen replied: "I think he's under severe pressure now.
"They've got the FA Cup and they are into the Europa League so he's got two lifelines there.
"His position in the league is keeping him afloat but there's got to be huge questions now."
Rio Ferdinand described United's presence in the Europa League as "embarrassing".
He said: "You look at the group and expect United to walk through it.
"You can understand the fans' disappointment. The pressure is creeping up on Van Gaal now because when the money is spent you've got to deliver performances.
"[The Europa League] is embarrassing. You've got to walk around Manchester and people are looking at you thinking you aren't good enough, questioning you as a player and a team.
THAT was as average as it could be. Not great at all and there's a long way to go.!— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) December 8, 2015
"I think this squad needs a good hard looking at. There's no pace, power or great resilience."
Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel also joined the chorus of critics rounding on Van Gaal, posting on Twitter moments after the final whistle: