Arsene Wenger (M) leaving the field after the League Cup defeat at Bradford
A brewing crisis is threatening to rip Arsenal apart after the shock loss to League Two side, Bradford City, in the Capital One Cup, and the crisis is from the coaching staff.
Arsene Wenger and assistant manager, Steve Bould are at war, and players are worried the battle will badly affect morale.
Tuesday’s humiliating defeat to League Two Bradford has exposed the unrest, with some first-team players becoming increasingly sick of trying to play pretty football with no bite or cutting edge.
Wenger went ballistic at half-time in the Capital One Cup tie, accusing his stars of “lacking focus and application”.
The manager also tore into Gervinho for an atrocious first-half miss.
But it was to little effect and after the shootout defeat the players talked of increasing strain between Wenger and No 2 Bould.
Former player Bould only replaced long-term servant Pat Rice in the summer.
“There does not seem to be much communication between the two,” a source told thesun.co.uk
“It is a shame because all the players are behind Wenger despite the results but equally, they all respect Bould. Things are strained.”
The source said that Wenger is still in total charge of the players.
“Bould worked with the defence before the start of the season but he has not done too many sessions since.
“Wenger remains in complete control over everything.”
This belief is backed up by former Arsenal star Stewart Robson, who called Wenger a “dictator”.
Some of Arsenal’s players are also frustrated that the team are continually encouraged to play like Barcelona when it is not working.
“Arsenal have played some fantastic football but it cannot always be tiki-taka like Barcelona.”
“Some players would like to be more direct and they also want more defensive work with Bould but this is not happening.
“They’re also scratching their heads about Arsene’s decisions. They can’t understand why Gervinho is allowed to play up front while so many others are forced out of position.”
Even though the players fully support Wenger, there have been a series of heated discussions between management and players.
After the 2-0 defeat to Swansea, keeper Wojciech Szczesny was involved in a bust-up with Mikel Arteta but the pair have patched up their differences.