Viv Anderson has offered a damning verdict on Manchester United's young players after the holders were dumped out of the Carling Cup.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson was left shell-shocked at the manner of the 4-0 quarter-final defeat by West Ham after he made a raft of changes.
Some of his fledgling stars were given the chance to shine in a side that was made up of youth and experience, and Anderson was baffled at the way the team caved in.
"I don't think they are quite up to the task everyone thinks they are," said the former United and England full-back on MUTV. "We changed the whole back five, including the goalkeeper and that is a bit of an ask.
"It has backfired on him (Ferguson) you could see that in his face. He is going to have to really think about the younger lads - they cannot match up to the expectations of this club. It was a bit of false dawn we went to Rangers and got a clean sheet. That night the system suited us.
"They had only Kenny Miller up front. West Ham played with two up and that was difficult for us. We conceded some shocking goals. It was a hard night and a learning curve for these young lads. It was a bad day, especially for the back four."