Speaking on BT Sport’s Football tonight show Michael Owen suggested that Manchester United should be challenging for the title considering their outlay on high quality players in the summer.
Pointing towards the signings of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo for a combined fee in the region of £150million, Owen stated that "they should be first, second, third."
Owen believes that Manchester United is not functioning as a team.
The ex-Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker said: “I don’t think any of the strikers are performing. Van Persie has gone quiet. I don’t necessarily blame the strikers as Manchester United aren’t creating loads and loads of chances. They are not functioning as a team and if you don’t function as a team… you’ll concede goals.”
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Underperformance of certain individuals underpins Owen’s arguments.
“Mata and Van Persie need to start doing more," said Owen. "Mata’s had a decent season, but I'm not his biggest fan.”
Owen does not believe that Manchester United's ambitions are on par with their means.
“People keep saying that they [Manchester United] are going to get top four, that was the aim. How they are accepting they are not challenging for the title having spent that money on those calibre of players. It’s not a good season.”
Outlining his current best XI, Owen outlined a 3-5-2 formation with Carrick at the base of midfield and Rooney moving back to a forward position. Football tonight presenter Des Kelly joked that “you can tell you’re [Owen] a striker’s union, there’s no defence… you’re winning that 5-3.”
Michael Owen was speaking on Football Tonight, BT Sport’s football debate and news round-up show