Former Manchester United player Johnny Giles says the Old Trafford side are a long way off looking like a top-four side, but look better than they did last season.
The Red Devils had a big overhaul in players following their disappointing campaign last season and boss Louis van Gaal has spent more than £150 million in the summer bolstering his ranks.
After a positive pre-season campaign which included an impressive victory over Real Madrid, many observers felt United could go as far as challenging for the title this season.
However, expectations have subsequently been curbed following a lacklustre start to the season with United picking up just 16 points from 11 games.
Performances haven’t been the best, and their most recent 1-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace was anything but straightforward coming off the back of a spirited display at rivals Manchester City.
Former player Giles – who spent six years at Old Trafford – has been left less than impressed as he told reporters that Van Gaal’s side are currently nowhere near good enough for a top-four spot.
“They’re better than they were last year. They’ve been unfortunate with the injuries that they’ve had over the past few weeks,” Giles told Off The Ball.
“The players that they’ve bought will be better than they had last year. But there is a long way to go. He has a big job to do.”
“They’re nowhere near finishing fourth at the moment from what we saw against Manchester City last week. It is going more in the right direction this year than it was last year.”
United’s 1-0 victory over Palace yesterday leaves them in sixth spot in the Premier League table, two points behind West Ham United in fourth and five behind rivals City in third.
Van Gaal’s men travel to Arsenal when they return from the international break in a game which could have a big bearing on the top four come next May.