Louis van Gaal's Manchester United have been branded by a Premier League veteran as the "worst" Manchester United side in the 12 years he has been playing in England's top flight, claiming them to be "poor" and "stale".
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live's transfer deadline day show, QPR midfielder Joey Barton, typically, didn't pull any punches when giving his assessment of the Red Devils from their two meetings in the Premier League this season.
"I just thought they were really poor, really stale in terms of how they approached the game"
Some fans of the Old Trafford club may not be best pleased with Barton's comments and could feel moved to point out that in those two matches United scored six goals and conceded none to see of the relegation-threatened Hoops.
However, it would be deluded in the extreme to not accept at least some of what Barton is saying, because he has only ever faced Manchester United teams managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, other than this season, and Old Trafford has been in some disarray since the club legend stepped down.
His specific critique of the side will also be worrying some fans as he is not the only one to claim that something was amiss in how Van Gaal has set his team out and told them to play. They may be third in the Premier League, but performances in recent weeks have been sketchy.
"This is going to sound controversial, but it's arguably the worst Manchester United side I've played against in my 11 or 12 years. I just thought they were really poor, really stale in terms of how they approached the game," said the former Manchester City midfielder.
Barton is not one to avoid controversy, rather he is fond of drawing it, but there wasn't anything too controversial about it. Van Gaal is yet to convince everyone that he has the answer to making them Premier League title challengers once again.
Too Much Spent, Not Enough Product
Despite spending the best part of £150million last summer to bring in new talent, the typical performance from Manchester United this season has been disjointed going forward and leaky at the back.
Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo have all shown glimpses of quality, but they have been far too rare for the kind of money that was paid to bring them to Old Trafford.