The retired Premier League forward who previously played for Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool was reportedly held hostage.
He watched on as his two sons Tom and Dean were threatened with knives by the gang of between four and eight balaclava-clad criminals.
They entered the north London £4 million property by smashing the front door down just after 1am on May 11.
A neighbour told the Daily Star: “It’s horrible and couldn’t happen to a nicer family.
“For all his money he’s always been down to earth and would always invite people to play football and have a barbecue at his house.
“The gang targeted them after they saw pictures of luxury watches on one of his son’s open Instagram account.
“That’s all they were interested in – they had no regard for the damage they caused.
“All the things that were taken were insured so they’ll get the money back. But the psychological damage isn’t so easily repaired.”
“It’s horrible and couldn’t happen to a nicer family”
The gang reportedly stole three watches including a luxury Swiss £80,000 Audemars Piguet.
It is not known what brand the other watches were or their value.
It is also not known which son’s social media accounts allegedly flaunted the watches – they are both now set to private.
Another neighbour of the retired international footballer said: “He told me that they were physically abused and threatened with machetes and horrible stuff like that.
“The raiders were in and out in five minutes, these people know what they’re doing.
“The family are fine now, they are a strong family but it wasn’t pleasant.”
The news emerged just days after two men on mopeds tried to car-jack Arsenal teammates Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac a short distance away.
It was one of the latest attacks by violent gangs targeting wealthy homeowners in the exclusive areas of Hampstead, Belsize Park, Highgate and St John’s Wood.
Other victims in the area include comedian Michael McIntyre and TV personality Rachel Riley’s boyfriend Pasha Kovalev.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating an aggravated burglary in Cricklewood that took place on May 11.
“Officers were called to a residential property at 1.14am to a report of multiple armed intruders forcing their way inside.
“Various items were stolen before the suspect left the scene. No arrests. Enquiries continue.”