Mikel Arteta wants action taken on abuse aimed at managers

Arsenal boss referenced quotes from Steve Bruce about abuse aimed at his family

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke out against abuse aimed at managers. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke out against abuse aimed at managers. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

 

Mikel Arteta says football must come together to discuss how managers can be protected from levels of vitriol that in some cases affect their mental health. The Arsenal manager was talking after Steve Bruce opened up about the abuse he received from Newcastle supporters, which has led him to consider retiring from the sport.

Earlier this year Arteta spoke of online threats received by his family and he said Bruce’s comments should be a further wake-up call in efforts to improve the conditions amid which people in his role work, putting particular emphasis on the fact his colleague is one of the most experienced managers in the game. Bruce left Newcastle on Wednesday, as had been widely expected, and said he may not return to management.

“I was really sad after reading that statement from Steve,” Arteta said. “You’re talking about somebody who has been in the game over 40 years as a player and manager, that has managed over 1,000 games and he is telling you, with that experience, with that level of expertise, that he struggles with that kind of situation.

“So I think we have to reflect how we can’t take for granted and accept certain things because they are how they are. We are here as well to improve them and change them like we do with any rules, with anything that we want to improve for our supporters, fans, stadiums, facilities, broadcast.

“Why don’t we have an open table to discuss how we can do that, because I think we have to think about that. One of the most experienced managers in English history is telling you that. You can’t just ignore it. For me it is a very serious statement and it is something that has to change. It has to start to change.”

Arteta refused to blame fans specifically for the situation, saying the football industry as a whole has expanded so much that the line between debate and abuse has become dangerously fuzzy.

“To have a strong opinion and be so convinced [about] what you see and how you judge people, you don’t have to study,” he said. “You don’t even have to be able to play football. You can just give a strong opinion and that’s it. You talk about chemistry, you don’t do that. You talk about law, a law case, you don’t have that opinion because you have to study and then you don’t say anything.

“But you can say anything about football and it is good because it creates debate, opinion ... but when you cross that line it becomes really difficult. It’s a man, it’s a family, his loved ones, the environment and I think we have to reflect. I was really impressed with how he explained openly how he felt, and I didn’t like it.” – Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.