Ex-Reds putting boot in

TV pundit and ex-United star Paul Scholes
TV pundit and ex-United star Paul Scholes
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Manchester United were labelled “average” and “an embarrassment” following their premature exit from the Champions League.

United were eliminated from Europe’s top club competition, slipping instead into the Europa League, following a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Tuesday.

Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes did not hold back on their criticism of Louis van Gaal’s team afterwards.

“United just look like an average team, really, and with an average team you get average performances,” former United midfielder Scholes said.

Asked if United were at a crisis point, he said: “Yeah, probably.”

Rio Ferdinand, alongside Scholes in the TV studios, was equally cutting with his post-match verdict.

“It’s embarrassing,” the former United captain said.

“I was in a squad that went into the Europa League in 2011 and it’s an embarrassment.

“You don’t want to come out of your house, you don’t want to walk around Manchester, you’re looking at people looking at you and thinking, ‘Ah, you’re not good enough’, questioning you as an individual and as part of a team that didn’t get through the group stages that you should have, on paper.”

A patched-up United team, which ended the game with Nick Powell, Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on the pitch, went out as PSV beat CSKA Moscow to claim second spot in the group behind Wolfsburg.

Van Gaal retains the support of the board but the fans’ unrest will undoubtedly increase.

The Dutchman, who has 18 months left on his contract, insists he is taking United in the right direction though.

“At the moment I cannot defend myself because we are out of the Champions League,” the United manager said. “Every word I say is the wrong word.

“But when you see the facts, we went further in the Capital One Cup (this season), qualified for the Champions League group, we have played all these matches and are still in a very good position in the league.

“The facts say we are better than last year. That’s my answer because I can only give facts.”