Manchester United have been “bang average” for years, says Michael Owen, with Jose Mourinho accused of being a coach who “doesn’t improve anybody”.
The Portuguese is into his third season as manager at Old Trafford.
His first delivered three trophies, but his second saw the Red Devils left empty-handed.
The current campaign is shaping up to be another struggle , with issues on and off the field conspiring against Mourinho .
Owen believes United have actually been stagnating for some time, with little progress having been made since Sir Alex Ferguson departed, despite £916 million ($1.2bn) having been invested in the transfer market.
The former Red Devils striker told BT Sport after witnessing a 3-1 defeat at West Ham: “What’s the difference between Manchester United at the moment and what they’ve been for the last three or four years? They have been bang average.
“The only thing is, Mourinho has bought more and more players.
“He’s bought the best player in the Premier League for the last three or four years in [Alexis] Sanchez. Forget whether he played today or not, he’s been bang average for so many games now for Manchester United.
“Look at [Paul] Pogba, he’s winning World Cups and the best player for Juventus, now he’s very average for Manchester United.
“Every player that Jose Mourinho has, any attacking player, plays equally as well or worse. He doesn’t improve anybody from an attacking point of view.
“Defenders, yeah, because he’s a defensive manager, but the team is going nowhere at the moment and it hasn’t for four or five years.”
United, who have now made their worst start to a season since 1989-90 , currently sit 10th in the Premier League table.
Mourinho’s men do, however, have more testing top-flight games to come over the next few weeks, with matches against Newcastle, Chelsea and Everton set to be taken in before the end of October – along with a European reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo when Juventus head to Old Trafford.