Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane said the lack of ambition shown by Jose Mourinho's team is "scary" after their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Liverpool claimed all three points thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri's late double on Sunday, as the Switzerland international scored twice off the bench to bail out goalkeeper Alisson.
Brazil star Alisson gifted Jesse Lingard an equaliser in the first half following Sadio Mane's opener, and for a long time United looked set to cling on to a draw.
AS IT HAPPENED: Liverpool v Manchester United
But after his side succumbed to defeat Mourinho said all United can hope for is fourth place, and Keane finds the club's state alarming.
"The scary bit I suppose, with ambition, you listen to the manager and he says he thinks they can finish fourth, Man United … but that's where they are at," the former United midfielder said on Sky Sports.
"The reality is what we've seen, your eyes don't lie. You've seen the Man United team, I suppose fourth probably is the best they can get.
"If you look at the team today, if you came from the moon today and didn't know anything about United or football, you'd be going, 'They're an average Premier League team.' That's what you'd be thinking.
"But obviously you look at the history, the badges, price tags [of the players] et cetera … some of these players just aren't good enough for United, and I just think there's no point being too critical.
"You have to reinvest, get to the end of the season, try to get fourth, try to be a decent cup team, but then you're talking about Man United of the 1980s, being a decent cup team. Man United deserve better than that."
One key area of discussion from the United perspective was Paul Pogba being left on the bench for a third successive Premier League game.
Keane expects Pogba to be moved on at the end of the season and does not think a second Old Trafford exit for the Frenchman would be hugely significant.
"I think there's obviously one or two problems, [like] players not on top form," Keane added. "You've got Pogba sitting on the bench, watching, not getting on and you think his days must be numbered.
"I don't think they'll do anything with him in January, but come the summer, move him on.
"It's no big deal, he's left Man United before. I agree that the players out there gave it their best, but I just think they're short [of quality]."