Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League has led to some of the club’s former players heavily criticizing the team.
The three-times European champions were knocked out by a 3-2 loss at Wolfsburg on Tuesday, which dropped them into the second-tier Europa League.
“It’s embarrassing,” former captain Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “I was in a squad that went into the Europa League and it’s an embarrassment.
“People look at you and think ‘you’re not good enough’, questioning you as an individual and as part of a team that didn’t get through the group stages that you should have.”
Paul Scholes and Michael Owen, who joined Ferdinand as studio pundits for BT Sport’s match telecast, joined in on the criticism.
“United just look like an average team, really, and with an average team you get average performances,” Scholes said.
“They spend 250 million pounds (376 million dollars) and can’t qualify from a shocking group.”
United are fourth in the Premier League but have been slammed this season for a lack of scoring and flair under manager Louis van Gaal.
He steadied the ship somewhat last season after a dreadful campaign under the sacked David Moyes following Alex Ferguson’s retirement after over two decades of success.
Owen rattled off the names of players who have left the club since the Dutchman’s arrival who he thinks are better than those on display in Germany.
“Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Nani, Shinji Kagawa, Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Adnan Januzaj and Danny Welbeck would all get in to that side,” he said.
Despite their exit, Van Gaal insists United are making progress.
They returned to the Champions League this season after failing to qualify for Europe under Moyes.
They also reached the fourth round of the League Cup after exiting in the second round a year ago.
“When you see the facts – we went further in the Capital One Cup, qualified for the Champions League group, we have played all these matches and are still in a very good position in the league,” Van Gaal said.
“The facts say we are better than last year.
“I’m also disappointed that we are out of the Champions League.” GNA