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Arsenal: Mikel Arteta blasted by Rio Ferdinand, with the pundit calling Gunners boss "naive"

Arsenal: Mikel Arteta
(Image credit: PA Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been called "naive" by former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. 

The Gunners gaffer engaged in a pitchside dispute with Jurgen Klopp during his side's 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, with Arteta angry about a challenge that Sadio Mane had made.

While Arsenal had been controlled and composed for much of the first half, the disagreement in the technical area seemed to light a fuse on the pitch, with the Reds scoring shortly after. Anfield reacted to the fight with fervour and the atmosphere lifted in Merseyside.

Now, former defender turned pundit Rio Ferdinand says he believes Arteta made the wrong call to get involved. 

"I watched the game and Liverpool just turned the screw," Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE. "They turned the screw after Arteta and Klopp’s spat on the touchline, that Arteta started.

"That was naive, for me. At Anfield you don’t want to be gassing up that crowd and whipping them up. You have a go at Klopp the way you do when you’re 1 or 2-0 up, not when you’re still in the game and the game’s on a knife-edge.

"I think that was a little bit of naivety on Arteta’s behalf. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s a young manager so I think he’ll learn from that."

Ferdinand played for Arsenal's biggest title rivals during the club's golden era, Manchester United, with both sides slogging it out for the league every year. While tempers often flared, however, the defender is on much better terms with the Gunners now and says that he's been impressed with progress that Arteta has made in north London.

"I actually went to Arsenal’s training ground the other day," Ferdinand said.

"I had done a talk with somebody at the Under-23s and some of the coaches there, and I got a sense that they are all on the same page. They are all singing from the same hymnsheet.

"They all have a genuine belief of where the club is going, from the youngsters to the young people to the young coaches all the way up to first team."

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