Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes Mikel Arteta may be forced into a “me or them” mentality with his players after Arsenal’s latest collapse.
The Gunners‘ hopes of qualifying for Europe through the Premier League were dealt a potentially fatal blow on the weekend after losing 3-0 in a tame display against Liverpool.
Arsenal have come under intense criticism over that performance after sitting back and awaiting slaughter against a Liverpool side who had been in poor form heading into the game.
And after witnessing the performance, former Manchester United star turned pundit Neville believes Gunners boss Arteta will feel he needs to take some tough decisions over some players to save his job.
“I said in the second half that me and Martin Tyler could have played centre-back for Liverpool,” he said on Monday Night Football.
“They were really comfortable, they (Arsenal) never laid a finger on them, they had no pressure and it was embarrassing, a really bad day.
“The first half, one shot on target, four touches in the opposition box, final touches in the final third – one.
“I come away from it thinking ‘that’s a dark moment’. It’s a crossroads moment and one where it feels like more than just a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.
“At the start of the season you would have said if Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-0 ‘so what?’.
“But I think Mikel Arteta would have come away thinking ‘it’s me or them’.”
Neville reasoned: “The reason I get to that conclusion and the reason I get to that conclusion is you look at the Chelsea game earlier in the season in what was a big moment for Arteta.
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“The young players, Martinelli, Saka, Emile Smith Rowe played.
“When both Saka and Smith Rowe start, 10 games, they have won seven, 2.2 points per game and two goals per game.
“It’s their out of possession work as much as in possession. In 20 games when they don’t start, five wins, one point per game, which is relegation form, and 0.95 goals per game.”