Michael Owen does not believe Manchester United’s squad is “far inferior” to Liverpool’s.
Owen, who had a pretty quiet time of it last week, feels that it is instead the standard of coaching and management that separates England’s sixth-best team from the European champions.
The striker, who played for both clubs during his career, says Liverpool “play with a greater understanding, a great cohesion, a lot of confidence” in comparison to United.
“A lot of people will obviously say when you have a manager that is there for that long then it’s very difficult for the next manager just to go and pick up the baton and continue it,” Owen told ESPN.
“But I think not many people would have envisaged the extent, let’s say, of the decline since.
“There’s been some trophies won along the way obviously which has smoothed things over a little bit but in general, when you watch Manchester United now, it is a shadow of the previous teams of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign I guess, and it’s going to take some building.
“I don’t necessarily think the players are all that bad, I think when you look at other teams, look at Liverpool for example, are Manchester United players far inferior to Liverpool’s? I don’t necessarily think so.
“But do Liverpool’s players play with a greater understanding, a great cohesion, a lot of confidence? Then, yes.
“I was talking to John Barnes the other day and he was saying exactly the same thing.
“He doesn’t think there’s anything in the two squads.
“When you look at the players, Manchester United have got great players but managers don’t seem to be getting that tune out of them like the Pep Guardiola teams or like the Jurgen Klopp teams at the moment.
“It will be interesting to see if Ole can do that over a period of time.”