Ryan Giggs has claimed that the "decline" at Manchester United following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson was not "inevitable".
The Red Devils have had three seasons of inconsistency after Ferguson stepped down in 2013, and in that time they have had three different managers - David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and now Jose Mourinho.
Since Ferguson's retirement, United have finished seventh, fourth and fifth in the Premier League table, but despite the Scottish boss delivering 38 trophies in 27 years, Giggs did not expect a major drop without him.
"I don't believe that the decline, post-Sir Alex, was inevitable," Giggs wrote in The Telegraph. "We won the Premier League by 11 points. There were so many winners in that team, so many great characters.
"Yes, the likes of myself, Rio [Ferdinand], Nemanja Vidic, even Patrice Evra were coming to the end of our careers - although Patrice is still playing. But with the right recruitment we would have been gently phased out and replaced by young, hungry players with United's winning mentality.
"Instead, the recruitment in that first summer under David Moyes didn't go to plan. I don't blame David. He came in without any of the inside knowledge about how the squad worked - when certain players needed resting, who was right for which game, who needed to be moved on and who needed to be encouraged. Those of us who had lived through it could help him a bit, but a manager has to acquire that knowledge over time."
Giggs worked as assistant boss to Moyes and Van Gaal, but left his role at United when Mourinho took over.