Gary Neville slams Arsenal’s ‘little mafia’ that left him ‘really uncomfortable’

Gary Neville has claimed Mikel Arteta is at a crossroads of his Arsenal tenure, suggesting there is ‘a little mafia’ of disconnected players.

The Gunners slipped to their 12th defeat of the season at the weekend, as they were dismantled 3-0 by Liverpool at the Emirates.

It was a humbling night for Arteta, who admitted he was ‘shocked’ at the display from his players.

And Neville, as part of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, has suggested the no-show from Arsenal left him feeling uncomfortable, with a number of players seeming to not apply themselves.

“I have to say, coming out of Saturday, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at Arsenal but there were a few of those players on the front part of the pitch, it looked like a little mafia,” he explained.

“It looked like a little group of players who weren’t comfortable, like there was a disconnect with them and the manager.

“Like the manager looked like he’d had enough of them, like he had that glazed-eye look.

“Look, it’s instinct but we’ve been around football now quite a long time to know when a group of players are disinterested.”

Neville continued: “All the way through the first half I was watching this and getting more and more uncomfortable with it.

“I said in the second half, me and Martin Tyler could’ve played centre-back for Liverpool. They were really comfortable but they never laid a finger on them, they were under no pressure and it was embarrassing.

“It was a really bad day. I came away from it thinking, ‘it was a dark moment, that’.

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  • "Like a crossroads moment, a moment where it feels like more than a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool which at the start of the season you’d say, ‘so what’.

    “I think Mikel Arteta will have come away from that game thinking, ‘it’s me or them’.”

    “Either they decide to start playing for him or he gets rid of them. I doubt the first one, something didn’t feel right.”

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