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."
|Ventura: I´ll probably manage Chelsea when Conte leaves|
|Bartomeu: Barca discussing new contract with Messi|
|Bauza: No doubts over Messi motivation|
|Schmeichel targets quick return after surgery|
|Giovinco to help aid earthquake victims in Italy|
|Ancelotti backs Madrid for LaLiga and Ronaldo to be top goalscorer|
|Gomes: Portugal can deal with Ronaldo absence|
|Sterling reveals Guardiola impact|
|Fiorentina deny approach for Chelsea target Alonso|
|Allardyce confirms Rooney retains England captaincy|
|Hart to join Torino – agent|
|Sanches withdrawn from Portugal squad|
|Sporting CP issue Adrien Silva clarification amid Leicester links|
|Watford confirm Okaka signing|
|Manchester City outcast Zuculini seals Rayo Vallecano loan switch|
|Dembele offers something different - Deschamps|
|Sunderland would just love to get rid of me - Lens|
|No Casillas in Spain squad represents a ´new era´, says Ramos|
|Zenit defender Criscito could return to Italy, claims agent|
|Barcelona reveal Messi hamstring injury|
|Modric named new Croatia captain|
|Napoli announce Rog signing|
|De Boer is building something at Inter - Morratti|
|Keane eyes coaching career after international retirement|
|Bravo left out of Chile squad for family reasons|
|West Brom announce Chadli signing|
|Former Dodgers owner set for Marseille purchase|
|Ferdinand: I reached out to Wenger|
|Holgate has big quality for a young player - Koeman|
|Manchester United want to keep Rojo, says agent|
|Low not concerned by captaincy as Germany bid farewell to greats|
|Aguero pulls out of Argentina squad|
|Howedes: Germany must prove themselves all over again|
|Ventura close to tears on first day of Italy training|
|Torino interested in City outcast Hart|
|Adrien Silva hoping to seal ´exceptional´ Leicester switch|
|Boufal joins Southampton from Lille for club-record fee|
|Villa outcast Lescott joins AEK Athens|
|Milner: I´m learning left-back role as fast as I can|
|Allardyce ready for Hart transfer disruption|
|´Door always open´ for Barkley - Allardyce|
|Xhaka like Petit, claims Wenger|
|Coric: I was a medical away from joining Liverpool|
|Pasalic keen to put injury troubles behind him at Milan|
|Guardiola delighted with Sterling form|
|Rooney should retire from England duty - Shearer|
|Hazard can ´decide´ the title - Ivanovic|
|Allardyce hails ´outstanding´ Antonio|
|Belgium can make history - Henry|
|Nice president: Call Balotelli and tell him we need a striker|
|Modric would like to see out career in Madrid|
|Geromel replaces Caio in Brazil squad|
|Mustafi: Ozil convinced me to join Arsenal|
|Pardew confirms ´one or two´ more signings|
|MLS Review: Kaka brace denies NYC top spot, Timbers beat Sounders|
|Mihajlovic: I won´t waste anymore breath on Maksimovic|
|Okon named Central Coast Mariners coach|
|´Special´ Rashford will get chance - Rooney|
|Injury forces Schurrle out of Germany squad|
|Burke snubs Premier League interest to join RB Leipzig|
|Guardiola: Nasri has a future at City, if he wants it|
|Klopp confident ´all will be good´ with Sturridge|
|Emery confident PSG will bounce back|
|Athletic may strengthen squad - Valverde|
|Fabregas dismisses exit rumours, committed to Conte and Chelsea|
|De Boer encouraged as Inter´s wait continues|
|Barca ´strengthened´ by Luis Enrique´s 100th win|
|Fekir to undergo knee operation|
|Monaco 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Ligue 1 champions suffer early loss|
|Aguero facing possible Manchester derby ban|
|Athletic Bilbao 0 Barcelona 1: Rakitic strike extends Barca´s strong start|
|West Ham´s Antonio handed first England call-up|
|Guardiola ´so optimistic´ after Man City´s perfect start|
|Inter 1 Palermo 1: Icardi gets De Boer´s men off the mark|
|Credit Guardiola for boost in form, says Sterling|
|Manchester City 3 West Ham 1: Hosts stay perfect under Guardiola|
|Cavani won´t return to Napoli - De Laurentiis|
|Pulis puts 48-hour deadline on Berahino future|
|Zaza awaits ´new adventure´ at West Ham|
|Karanka open to transfer ´surprises´ after strong Middlesbrough start|
|Dost completes Sporting move|
|Allardyce wanted N´Zonzi for England|
|World Cup could be expanded - Infantino|
|West Brom 0 Middlesbrough 0: Booed Berahino benched for dour draw|
|Gyan´s ´destiny´ in England, Sunderland return an option|
|Zidane wanted Pogba and Madrid are weaker without him - Raiola|
|Juventus end Matuidi pursuit|
|´He´s freaking amazing!´ - Balogun hails Dortmund´s Dembele|
|Thohir thrilled as Inter confirm Joao Mario signing|
|Fabinho expects Monaco stay despite Manchester United links|
|Infantino has Blatter wine cellar removed as part of FIFA reform commitment|
|West Ham seal Zaza loan|
|Joao Mario posts heartfelt thanks to Sporting after record-breaking Inter move|
|Aguero: I´m not competing with Ibrahimovic|
|Mihajlovic: Maksimovic is dead to me|
|Risdon replaces Wright for Socceroos|
|MLS Review: DC United in goal-fest, Impact stun Toronto|
|Schmeichel to undergo surgery|
|Milik revels in ´dream´ brace as he ignores Higuain shadow|
|Rossi to join Celta Vigo|
|Ayestaran: Barcelona target Alcacer unable to compete|
|Simeone: Winless Atletico must remain calm|
|Griezmann: Atletico must improve or face relegation fight|
|Sterling ´feels the love´ at City - Guardiola|
|Stones glad he did not end up at Chelsea|
|James impact earns Zidane´s praise|
|Montella bemoans AC Milan´s indiscipline|
|Leganes 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Returning Griezmann fails to inspire turgid visitors|