Gary Neville has reminded everyone that Manchester United “were pretty average” under Sir Alex Ferguson for three years in the 2000s.
Neville, a member of a team he describes as “not good”, says that people have become “a bit idealistic” with regards to Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford.
Fans, rivals and neutrals believe the style of football Jose Mourinho is delivering is below the standard expected at the club.
But Neville has questioned that idea, pointing out that United were far off the pace just over a decade ago.
The Red Devils finished 15 points behind Arsenal in 2004, 18 behind Chelsea in 2005 and eight behind the Blues a year later as they could not keep up with England’s champions.
“Under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho it’s been suggested the football is not very good,” Neville told the Daily Mail. “And every game that goes by Sir Alex Ferguson’s football gets better and better because you forget the bad games, the 1-0s, the horrible defeats.
“I think we’ve become a bit idealistic about what the football was at times under Sir Alex. I was there for a large part of it, 21 years, and saw every game.
“Yes, it was mesmerising at times, but from 2003 to 2006 it wasn’t good. I played in that team, it wasn’t good. We weren’t playing at a high level. We were pretty average.
“So you think about this three-year period or so now and what are you measuring against? Sir Alex’s 1999 or the 2003-2006 period when the football was pretty poor and Jose Mourinho was at Chelsea and destroying us?”