United have been accused of being worse off under the Dutchman than they were 18 months ago – but do you think that’s accurate?
Have Manchester United actually gone backwards under Louis van Gaal?
According to Michael Owen, that’s exactly the case as United crashed out of the Champions League following a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg on Tuesday evening.
“I feel all that money that’s been invested, it’s a worse squad now than it was. We were looking at the players Van Gaal has let go in his reign, in the last 18 months, I’m sure the team we put together would beat the team tonight,” the former United striker told BT Sport.
“Rafael, Vidic, Johnny Evans and Evra as a back four, Cleverly, Kagawa, Van Persie, Chicharito, Nani – we thought there were only two players from tonight’s team who would get into the eleven who he let go – Chris Smalling would probably get in, and Michael Carrick would probably get in.
“Apart from that, the players who he has let go are better than the ones he’s got tonight, even after all that investment.”
So is Owen right? Below is the formation that includes most of the players Owen name-checked – and that’s without the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Danny Welbeck, Darren Fletcher and Radamel Falcao.