Football pundit Michael Owen criticised the quality on show during Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.
The two clubs have experienced a rather futile start to the Premier League campaign, and the early season objectives appear to have already been altered.
United embarked on a summer of change ahead of the new campaign – appointing Louis van Gaal as manager and splashing out more than £150 million on new players.
The Gunners, likewise, were also busy in the transfer market, and supporters in North London were hoping that their FA Cup victory would help spur the team on and offer a more telling title challenge.
However, after just 12 games into the season the Premier League duo find themselves 13 and 15 points respectively behind league leaders Chelsea – a gap seemingly far too big to bridge.
It’s a sorry state for the two clubs whose rivalry and domination helped capture the hearts of football fans worldwide and raise the profile of the English top flight.
Nowadays, it appears the world’s best players are currently plying their trade at Spain and Germany’s top sides, prompting Owen to compare the lack of quality to that of 10 years ago.
“Both teams [United and Arsenal] a million miles away from where they were 10 years ago. Champions League place at best is all they can hope for,” he wrote on Sportlobster.
A Kieran Gibbs own goal and a late Wayne Rooney strike ensured the Red Devils their first away win of the season, despite a nervy finale as a result of Olivier Giroud’s stunning consolation strike.
This season may not have gone to plan so far for both teams, although on the upside Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur’s lack of form suggests a top-four spot still remains a probable scenario.