Mikel Arteta wants his Arsenal side to “show” Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher what they “can do” after receiving heavy criticism from the Sky Sports pundits.
The Gunners put in a terrible performance at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as Liverpool – who were well beaten by Real Madrid last night – rolled them over.
Following the defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s men, Neville labelled Arsenal “really flaky” and “basic” while Carragher told Arteta to “get rid” of Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Nicolas Pepe.
On Neville and Carragher’s comments, Arteta said: “No response. I think we have to respect every opinion and when there is criticism coming after the way we played against Liverpool, we have to take it on the chin because it’s fully deserved for the way that we played.
“It’s no time to respond, it’s time to talk on the pitch and show what we can do. When we are at full gas, that is a lot.”
When pressed on their criticism, the Arsenal boss added: Listen, I don’t read or listen. Obviously, I need to be aware of what has been said.
“The only thing I’m saying is where there is the one from Gary or Jamie or whoever is talking about us, after the performance that we had against Liverpool we have to be mute and we have to perform. That is the only thing that we have to do.”
Asked if he’s seeing a good reaction in training, Arteta said: “Absolutely. Yes. ”
The Spaniard expanded: “I cannot criticise the hard work or the ethic of my players. I have never done it. Whether we are more efficient or not, whether we win enough duels or not. It’s not about they don’t want to run or they don’t want to try.
“There are areas where we have limitations, there are areas where we’re inconsistent but there are areas where we can do really, really well. My demands is just to be hitting those goals and to achieve our best level every single day.
“Whether it’s in training or in a football game and in the last two days again, I’ve seen that. I didn’t see anything different. That’s why it was a big shock to the system, what happened against Liverpool.
“Because of the training that we showed since December but probably it’s part of the journey. Sometimes a punch or a big slap in the face is a good thing to go back to reality.”