Arsenal players fear management bust-up
Arsenal stars fear Arsene Wenger's relationship with new assistant Steve Bould is breaking down
Tuesday's humiliating Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat against Bradford City was believed to be the final straw, with mounting tensions and cracks starting to appear in the Gunners dressing-room.
Wenger went ballistic at his Arsenal players at half-time of that game - which they eventually lost on penalties - reportedly accusing his stars of "lacking focus and application".
Pressure has been building at the Emirates Stadium for some time, with Gunners fans growing increasingly frustrated at their side's frequent under-par performances, which has left them lying 7th in the Premier League.
Former defender Bould only replaced long-term servant Pat Rice in the summer, promoted to Arsenal's new No.2 after 11 years of service as player and youth team coach.
However, relations between Wenger and his assistant are described as frosty at best, by a source who spoke to The Sun, with the Frenchman still in total charge of first-team affairs.
"There does not seem to be much communication between the two," they said. "It is a shame because all the players are behind Wenger despite the results but equally, they all respect Bould. Things are strained.
"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."