Former England striker Michael Owen believes Manchester United are ‘now a mid-table team’.
The Red Devils’ alarming form continued on Thursday evening as they were held by AZ Alkmaar in a 0-0 stalemate in The Hague.
After starting his reign with a club-record nine successive away wins in all competitions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s subsequent wait for a victory on the road stretched to a 10th match on ADO Den Haag’s plastic pitch.
United have had a dismal start to their league campaign and find themselves 10th in the Premier League table, 12 points off league leaders Liverpool.
And former United marksman Owen believes the squad is the poorest it has been in a matter of decades.
“Yes, I’d say [Manchester United are now a mid-table team]. I don’t think they’ll be top six this season, personally,” Owen said on BT Sport.
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“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.”