Gary Neville believes the relationship between Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal forwards has broken down after watching their abysmal 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
The Gunners barely laid a glove on their visitors at the Emirates and the latest defeat in a woeful season leaves Arteta’s side 10th in the table.
Questions have been asked about captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who failed to register a single shot, while fellow forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe were also anonymous.
Working on commentary for Sky Sports, former Manchester United defender Neville suggested their performances hinted at a rift with manager Arteta and made him ‘uncomfortable’.
Neville told Monday Night Football: “I have to say, at half-time on Saturday, I was really uncomfortable with what I’d seen.
“At the end of the game, I did something that I don’t ordinarily do, I usually just get off. I sat around for a few minutes with Martin Tyler, asking, ‘What was that?’
“I was really uncomfortable with what I saw. There have been a number of times when I’ve being doing Monday Night Football when my anger has emerged in the days since the game.
“I remember a QPR team that I didn’t like, Sunderland once I thought something wasn’t right, Chelsea I thought they were turning on the manager a couple of times.
“Coming out of Saturday, there were a few players in that front part of the pitch, it looked like a little mafia.
“It looked like a little group of players who weren’t comfortable, like there was a disconnect between them and the manager. The manager looked like he’d had enough of them, he had that glazed-eye look.
“It’s instinct, but we’ve been around football long enough to know when a group of players are disinterested.”
He added: “It was embarrassing, it was a bad day, I came away saying it was a dark moment, a crossroads moment, Mikel Arteta would have come away from that saying it is me or them.
“Me and Martin Tyler could have played centre-back in that first-half against Arsenal, they never laid a finger on them, it was embarrassing.”
Meanwhile, talkSPORT host Tony Cascarino described Aubameyang as ‘another Mesut Ozil’ following his poor display against Liverpool.
In a damning assessment, Cascarino said: “I don’t see a team player there. I just don’t.”