Michael Owen has told BT Sport’s Matchday Live with Fletch and Sav show that Louis van Gaal should be praised only if he leads Manchester United to a second or a third-placed finish in the Premier League this season.
United are currently fourth in the league table with 53 points from 28 matches, a point behind third-placed Arsenal and two ahead of Liverpool, who are fourth.
The Red Devils have not played well this season, but they have done the job and picked up the points.
Owen, a former United striker, believes that finishing in the top four of the Premier League is a bare minimum for the Manchester outfit, and that nothing big should be made of it.
“If they finish fourth, then okay nothing should be said, but to say success is fourth and to drum it up as successful being fourth, I am not having it one bit,” the 35-year-old told BT Sport’s Matchday Live with Fletch and Sav on Wednesday evening.
“I have not had it for months and months. If he comes third or second then yeah, fair enough, you can give him a pat on the back, but fourth, that’s like minimum, absolute minimum.”
Is Michael Owen justified?
Owen is 100% justified in what he says about United: finishing fourth should not be deemed a success.
United are the biggest clubs of England and one of the biggest in the world, and they should be regularly competiting for major trophies.
Although the Red Devils are still in the FA Cup, they were out of the running for the Premier League title months ago.
This season was going to be about getting back into the Champions League places, but as Owen highlights, that is a bare minimum for a club of United’s stature.
However, given how things are going at the moment, Van Gaal’s team could well finish second in the table.
Defending English champions Manchester City are only five points ahead of United in second place, and they have not been very convincing in recent weeks.
Maybe, just maybe, United will finish higher than fourth in the Premier League this campaign.