"People were annoyed that it was one massive bundled binary rather than a lot of smaller components which could be maintained independently"
The thing is, it isn't a massive bundled binary. It consists of dozens of executables that have well defined purposes relating to their own area of concern and run with minimal privileges. And systemd doesn't implement an NTP daemon, but it does have a service that allows it to synchronise the local date & time with a remote NTP server during bootup.
This is bad how exactly?