Arsenal's exit, despite their defiance at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, means the Premier League did not have a representative in Friday's quarter-final draw for the first time since 1996.
Champions Manchester City and holders Chelsea never even made it out of the group stage.
But it will be a long time before Ferguson forgets the manner of his own side's exit to Real Madrid - a defeat he insists was a direct result of Nani's harsh red card.
And with Real landing Galatasaray - a team United finished above during the group stage - in the last eight, Ferguson realises a chance went begging.
"You can't put us all in the one basket in terms of deterioration," Ferguson said.
"Our performance against Real Madrid was outstanding and we should have been in the last eight.
"Unfortunately it wasn't to be."
Nevertheless, Ferguson does concede the present cycle of European dominance has swung away from England after a period when they supplied at least one finalist in seven out of the past eight seasons.
"It is a little bit cyclical," the Scot said.
"Going back a few years, English teams were in the semi-finals and finals quite regularly.
"At the moment German teams are progressing, with the performance of (Borussia) Dortmund.
"Bayern Munich have also improved this year and Spain has been like that for a few years now."