Mikel Arteta urges his Arsenal players to silence their critics by playing on the field

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Mikel Arteta urges his Arsenal players to silence their critics by performing on the field … as Gary Neville calls Gunners a ‘little mafia’ and Emmanuel Petit describes them as ‘average’

  • Gary Neville and Emmanuel Petit have not kept their mouths shut at Arsenal lately
  • But Mikel Arteta encouraged his charges to prove them wrong by playing well
  • The Gunners will play against Slavia Prague in a quarter final of the Europa League on Thursday
  • Winning it is their only realistic way to make it to the Champions League next year

Arsenal’s critics are lining up to give their opinion, but Mikel Arteta insists his players should shut up and talk on the field.

Experts Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, plus former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit, are among those who have delivered scathing reviews of the Gunners in the wake of their 3-0 indignity by Liverpool.

Neville said some Arsenal players looked like a ‘little mafia’ and performed as if there was a ‘disconnect between them and the manager’.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta urged his players to respond to critics by performing on the field

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta urged his players to respond to critics by performing on the field

Former Gunners midfielder Emmanuel Petit described some of the club's players as average

Former Gunners midfielder Emmanuel Petit described some of the club's players as average

Former Gunners midfielder Emmanuel Petit described some of the club’s players as average

Carragher picked out captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Petit claimed some of Arteta’s Arsenal roster looks like a ‘retired football club’ and labeled them ‘average’.

Arteta said: ‘After the performance we had against Liverpool, we have to be quiet and we have to perform. That’s all we have to do.

‘It is not the time to respond, it is time to talk on the field and show what we can do. When we’re at full throttle, that’s a lot. ‘

Arteta called bitter 3-0 defeat to Liverpool a good chance to ‘get back to reality’

The Europa League is well behind the pace in the Premier League and looks like Arsenal’s only realistic route to next season’s Champions League – the defeat to Liverpool could therefore come at the right time.

“It was a great shock to the system what happened against Liverpool,” said Arteta ahead of Slavia Prague’s visit for the Europa League’s first leg in the quarter-final tonight.

“Sometimes a slap or a big slap in the face is a good thing to get back to reality.”

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