EMILE HESKEY barely recognises the current Manchester United from the once scary force he used to face.
The former Liverpool striker, who sees his old side take on the Red Devils this weekend, believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side no longer carry a fear factor.
Speaking exclusively to SunSport, Heskey said: "They're just not scary anymore.
"Opponents of Mike Tyson would say they'd already lost the fight before they even got into the ring and that's the sort of thing Man Utd used to have. But they just don't have it anymore.
"No one is scared to go to Old Trafford anymore.
"They actually quite like it. Teams enjoy it. It's like a day out for them now and that should never be the case."
Manchester United have already lost at home to Crystal Palace this season, drawn 1-1 with Arsenal and needed penalties to overcome League One Rochdale.
They actually quite like it. Teams enjoy it. It's like a day out for them now and that should never be the case
Despite United's huge downfall in the years since Fergie retired, the ex-Bolton, Aston Villa and Wigan man refuses to lay the blame at Solskjaer's door.
Heskey said: "This has been going on a while, it's not Solskjaer.
"They haven't got recruitment right for a long period of time and now Solskjaer has a group of lads that just aren't up to the top four standard."
It’s fair to say Heskey struggled against Manchester United during his playing days.
A solitary goal from 29 battles with the Red Devils hardly makes for impressive reading.
And a quick flick through the video archive shows the 41-year-old did his best to miss the one goal he did manage.
Playing for Leicester at Old Trafford on August 15 1998, Heskey's seventh minute effort from five yards out skewed off his shin, looped over Peter Schmeichel and somehow snuck in on off the underside side of the crossbar.
Alex Ferguson's side that day boasted legends David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Andy Cole.
And Heskey admits there was a mental block when it came to facing a Manchester United side packed full of stars.
He said: "Going into Old Trafford to play against Man Utd – especially when you were there with a smaller club – your mentality was to first and foremost not lose and then to just keep the score down."
Manchester United face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday and the game kicks-off at 4:30pm.
Heskey spoke to SunSport on behalf of GentingBet. To find out more click here. 18+ begambleaware.org.
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