Stoke forward Osaze Odemwingie has aimed a dig at Manchester United ahead of their Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Odemwingie has struggled to bet into the Stoke side, who easily beat United in the reverse tie at the Britannia, but the Nigerian has suggested that United have lost the fear factor that used to terrify teams.
“They are not the club they were – they don’t have the names and the quality they used to have,” Odemwingie, 34, was quoted in the Daily Mail.
“They themselves look more shy than usual, they don’t take as much risk as we know them to do, so people take advantage of that and go for it when they play against them now.”
United, who are in fifth place in the league, did not sign any player in the January transfer window despite struggling with injuries and finding goals hard to come by.
Odemwingie claims the club are struggling to attract quality players.
“It’s a turning point for a big club like that,” the former Super Eagles star added. “They have all the resources, they just need to do the right recruitment probably and go through this difficult stage and get back to the heights they are used to.
“There was a lot more quality there, they had real leaders on the team. Now they’ve lost that. Many teams go through that.
“When you lose a generation of players it’s hard to then get a new set that will produce the same way. I think the process they are going through is rebuilding.
“You still give them the respect, they are still good players, but not in the times when they had the likes of Rio [Ferdinand], Roy Keane, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [David] Beckham and great finishers like [Ruud] van Nistelrooy, so it’s a bit of a different time for them now.”
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