Peter Schmeichel defended Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Michael Owen claimed a lot of the club’s players are “not playing to their potential”.
United appeared to be building some momentum on the back of three successive away wins in three different competitions but their mini-revival was ended at the Vitality Stadium by former player Joshua King.
The south coast setback leaves the Red Devils with only 13 points from 11 top-flight games – their lowest total at this stage of a season for 33 years – and piles pressure back on manager Solskjaer.
“I’m a patient person myself but if Jurgen Klopp or if Pep Guardiola were manager of Manchester United, then I’m certain you would have seen a huge improvement with what they’ve got,” Owen told Premier League Productions.
“These players, a lot of them are very good players and a lot of them are not playing to their potential.
“You look at the other two teams – Guardiola and Klopp get the best [out of them].
“You name a player out of those two squads that hasn’t got better under the management, under the guidance of them.”
Interrupting Owen, Schmeichel said: “I have to disagree a little bit with that.
“I think Jurgen Klopp, he’s got very, very few players in his team that were there when he started. He’s got [Jordan] Henderson…”
Before Owen butted back in, he added: “What was Henderson like five years ago? Everyone was laughing him out of town, now everyone’s saying he’s world class.”
Schmeichel replied: “[That’s] five years in…
“Now, Guardiola in the first year wasn’t great, people forgot that. He changed the whole back five, he didn’t play [Vincent] Kompany in the second year, didn’t play him at all.
“Obviously he came back in the third year but he changed the whole back five, he bought players like Bernardo Silva in.
“He has changed that team a lot and it has taken him time to get to that point.
“Now, Ole’s starting point was nowhere near what Guardiola came into Manchester City with.”
But Owen still thinks United should be doing better with what is available, he continued: “This is the best time of the academy for 20 years, the players that are coming through.
“You’ve got [Paul] Pogba, one of the best players, [Harry] Maguire who they’re spending zillions on, you’ve got [David] De Gea one of the best goalkeepers.
“You’ve got players there who are brilliant and they’re not getting the best out of.”