As Manchester United's fortunes continue to dwindle under Jose Mourinho, Ryan Giggs wants players to take responsibility for their performances.
Manchester United was beaten 3-1 by Premier League leader Liverpool on Sunday, holding out at 1-1 until a late deflected brace from substitute Xherdan Shaqiri. But Mourinho's men were second-best for almost the entire 90 minutes, conceding a remarkable 36 shots to their rampant opponents.
As part of a bigger picture, with United similarly soundly beaten by Manchester City and Tottenham this term and without a win against any of the league's top five, Giggs told Optus the performance was particularly damning.
"In the season, you can get beaten in these games," he said. "When United were winning leagues, we went to Anfield and got beaten plenty of times. We got beaten at Old Trafford. It's just within this season. It tops it off that it's been a disappointing season. Then, when you get beat by your rivals, obviously your fans won't be happy."
After the match, Mourinho made the stark admission that United was unable to match the intensity and physicality of Liverpool's display and Giggs believes an expensively assembled squad has questions to answer.
"Jose takes a lot of stick, rightly or wrongly, but the players have got to take responsibility as well," he said.
"He's not the one out there miscontrolling it, he's not the one going out to [Sadio] Mane like [Ander] Herrera did and making a stupid challenge.
"It's a bigger story though. The season so far, when you don't beat the likes of Wolves, don't beat Crystal Palace at home, you have to take the criticism. The players in that squad at the moment are better than that. The standards of Manchester United over the years has been high and these players have dropped below that. The manager has to take a lot of stick for that."
Paul Pogba looked on as an unused substitute and Romelu Lukaku, aside from his role in Jesse Lingard's equaliser, was largely a peripheral figure at Anfield.
"We see Lukaku and Pogba in the World Cup and they're performing to the highest level," Giggs added.
"They go back to their clubs and they're not. Nineteen points behind Liverpool. That team isn't 19 points worse than Liverpool."