Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane said responsibility for the club's poor season lies beyond sacked manager David Moyes.
Keane slammed vice-chairman Ed Woodward, and inexperienced defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, after United's worst finish (seventh) in the English top flight since 1989-90.
A United midfielder of 12 years, Keane said disgraced boss Moyes was made to be the scapegoat of a wider problem - recruiting - as he put the blame for United's struggles at the feet of Woodward.
"He (Moyes) had one transfer window, and it's not always down to the manager when players don't come in," Keane said, speaking at ITV's World Cup launch.
"I think Ed Woodward needs to look at himself. He's got to get deals done.
"I think he (Moyes) should have been given more time. I was happy with David Moyes.
"I think (Louis) Van Gaal is a good choice. Only time will tell. He's managed big clubs."
Keane particularly lamented the signings of Smalling - from Fulham - and Jones, bought off Blackburn - both deals done prior to the infamous Moyes era.
"They've had a platform for the last couple of years," he said.
"We were told two or three years ago Jones was going to be the new Duncan Edwards, Smalling was this… I've watched United live nine, 10 times this year and they have been none of those things.
"If anything I think they have gone backwards.
"I've actually been a big fan of them – yes, give them a chance, you say you have to give players a chance to mature but also you've got players who you say we've given you a chance and you're not taking it.
"They need to do a lot better if they want to cement their place at Man United and United to win trophies. Jones needs to toughen up.
"Every time I see him he is getting carried off. He's got to toughen up – he's playing for Man United. They have to recruit in the summer – they might get two."
Keane said a strong line-up through the middle was what United lacked, as they finished below the top-three for the first time in 23 seasons.
"It's the spine of the team. United have come up short defensively and in the middle of the park they have not done enough," Keane said.
"You watch any of the teams that are winning trophies… I'm stating the obvious, you've got to have a strong spine, goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker and United have been short in two of those areas.
"It makes it very difficult to win trophies."
|Stekelenburg grounded despite penalty heroics|
|Thiago Silva can be our Pirlo - Juve CEO hints at move for PSG defender|
|Koscielny calls for ´tough´ Arsenal|
|Birthday boy Wenger: Result will determine celebrations|
|MLS fines Drogba for Impact snub|
|Klopp backs Sturridge to bounce back|
|Conte: Chelsea still scarred from last season|
|Giggs: United decline was not inevitable|
|Falcao nets as brilliant Monaco hit Montpellier for six|
|Guardiola pleads patience for injury ravaged Kompany|
|No hard feelings as Mourinho focuses on Chelsea task|
|Guardiola: I don´t want City to play like Barcelona|
|Valencia fans´ Alcacer anger normal - Luis Enrique|
|Neymar: Playing for Barca is easy now|
|EPFL terminates agreement with UEFA|
|Aguero keeps Argentina spot, Messi returns|
|Donnarumma eyes Milan captaincy|
|Napoli fans banned from Juve trip|
|Mertesacker hails ´hungry´ hat-trick hero Ozil|
|Suarez says Barcelona renewal talks ´really advanced´|
|Lack of European football can aid Liverpool´s title bid - Pulis|
|European breaks do not benefit Chelsea - Conte|
|Pardew backs Leicester to ´come through´ tough start|
|Pochettino one of ´the very best´ coaches, says Howe|
|Puel backs Manchester City for Premier League title|
|Abramovich and I were not friends - Mourinho|
|It was not mutual consent, I was sacked by Chelsea - Mourinho|
|Brazil recall Douglas Costa, Marcelo and Casemiro for Argentina clash|
|Luis Enrique: If Messi is at his best, nobody knows how to stop him|
|Ramos deserves more than he earns - Perez|
|Neymar renewal proves Barcelona team spirit, says Luis Enrique|
|Bravo mistakes will be on the front page - Guardiola|
|I would sign Modric as Scholes´ successor - Giggs|
|At last! Neymar signs new Barcelona contract|
|Ronaldo injury helped Portugal to Euro 2016 success, says Abidal|
|Ronaldo injury helped Portugal to Euro 2016 success, says Abidal|
|Rummenigge blasts Premier League clubs for ´kidnapping´|
|Prandelli awed by Messi but ´dreaming big´ against Barcelona|
|Guardiola fumes at Aguero rumours after Barcelona omission|
|Conte: Mourinho deserves maximum respect|
|Moses happy for Conte chance after Mourinho struggle|
|Garcia dreaming of glory with lowly Marseille|
|Dawson back as Phelan expects Hull reaction|
|Conte declares Terry fit to face Mourinho´s United|
|Pardew: Why would I leave Palace for England?|
|Montella wants San Siro to strike fear into Juventus|
|Guardiola criticism ´political´, says Del Bosque|
|Ancelotti ready to unleash rampant Robben once more|
|Chelsea in a good position - Mourinho|
|Tuchel heartened by Reus return|
|Allegri wary of AC Milan after Inter ´whack´|
|Koeman hopes for Barkley ´wake-up call´|
|Melbourne City 2 Perth Glory 3: Keogh hat-tricks decider thriller|
|Dybala delighted to stay at Juve after rejected offer|
|Hughes eager to test Hull fragility|
|Carrasco extends Atletico contract|
|Moyes: I am under pressure - just like Guardiola|
|Wenger talks up Arsenal´s title credentials|
|Fuchs signs new Leicester contract|
|Guardiola doesn´t communicate - Benatia|
|Magical Messi from another planet, says awestruck Digne|
|Wenger pleased to see Ozil on goal trail as talks continue|
|Evra hails old rival Suarez as ´the best number 9´|
|Ranieri: I feel like a hybrid car|
|Falcao returns for Monaco|
|De Bruyne defends Guardiola tactics|
|Del Bosque: I rejected €10m offer from China|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pumas, Dallas reach QFs|
|Alli like ´wild horse´ - Pochettino|
|Nani hails ´special´ Messi|
|Serious knee injury sidelines Hull´s Odubajo for six months|
|Mkhitaryan edging closer to comeback - Mourinho|
|Klopp: United game good prep for West Brom|
|Pogba praises Rooney after resounding win|
|Under-fire De Boer driven by reaching knockout stages|
|Pogba no longer Premier League´s ´worst´ player, mocks Mourinho|
|Austria Vienna spoil Totti milestone|
|Manchester United 4 Fenerbahce 1: Van Persie nets on return as Pogba stars|
|Puel rues unfortunate Inter defeat|
|Inter 1 Southampton 0: Candreva seals fortunate win for Inter|
|Buffon rules out club management after retirement|
|Mazzarri ´very happy´ about Holebas-Capoue row|
|Non-European city could host Champions League final - UEFA|
|Bradley calls for players to reconnect with fans|
|Pochettino lauds ´fantastic´ Howe|
|Frankfurt´s Russ eyeing return after tumour disease all-clear|
|Karanka insists Middlesbrough will not sit back against Arsenal|
|Atletico Madrid cannot sign players in January after FIFA deal|
|Koeman calls for greater Lukaku support|
|Suarez: Two goals at the Bernabeu were my best|
|Pochettino delivers mixed news on injury front|
|Karius has Klopp´s confidence|
|Suarez hopes to finish his career at Barcelona|
|Burnley suffer Defour injury blow|
|Marseille confirm Garcia appointment|
|No concerns for Ranieri as Vardy, Morgan and King miss training|
|Tony Pulis is Tony Pulis - Klopp not expecting surprises from West Brom|
|Garcia´s Roma contract terminated amid Marseille reports|
|Injured Pique ruled out for three weeks|
|Moyes the builder will fix Sunderland, says chief exec Bain|
|Walcott impressed by the ´new, aggressive´ Ozil|
|Bilic eyes Ayew injury boost|
|Bonaventura on Icardi saga: I´ll wait until I´ve won something before writing a book!|
|Van Persie: I may still be at Man Utd if Ferguson was in charge|
|Emery wants more from PSG despite victory|
|Muller: Bayern enjoyed PSV rout|
|Barcelona lose Alba and Pique to injury|
|Nolito: Messi made the difference|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca edge through, Timbers out|
|Ozil has ´taste´ for goals - Wenger|
|Renard, Morocco prepared for AFCON test|
|Guardiola: Barca loss not my worst|
|Luis Enrique hails ´decisive´ Messi|
|Pulisic, Green & Morris´ youth movement delight USMNT legend Jones|
|Clinical Barca point the way for Sterling and City|
|Sarri: Napoli making life hard for ourselves|
|That´s life for goalkeepers - Ter Stegen on Bravo woe|
|Schubert delighted with mature Gladbach display|
|Gunes not getting carried away after Besiktas upset Napoli|
|Lucas praises PSG response to stuttering start|
|Luis Enrique happy to rule in game of errors|
|Vitoria: Benfica face three more finals|