Mikel Arteta says football needs to do more to protect managers from abuse with the next generation of coaches being put off by the regular pile-ons and extraordinary pressure.
His comments come in the aftermath of Steve Bruce’s sacking by Newcastle United.
The 60-year-old used the occasion of his St James’ Park exit to speak frankly about the torrid time he and his family have endured in the last couple of years and stated he was unlikely to return to the dugout again after a forty-year career in the game.
Appalled by a peer being hounded out, Arteta warned that others, even those taking their first steps in the game, are wary of putting themselves in the firing line.
“Yes, a lot of people think like that,” he told reporters in his pre-Aston Villa press conference.
“First of all, I heard a lot and have a lot of friends who are doing the courses and they doubt if they want to take the hot seat or if it’s better to be an assistant or to be somewhere else.
“For me, this cannot be the barrier because you have fear about the treatment that you’re going to receive. The enjoyment is that big that it should not stop you but I think it’s important that we take care a little bit of the environment and putting things in the right place.
“If we don’t do anything about it, I don’t think they will get better, they will get worse.”
He also revealed, he’s fielded calls from fellow coaches, “People who have been managers already. Experienced managers, and they are thinking about not doing it again.
“[I tell them] that you cannot lose the focus, the passion and the love. The reason why you made the decision in the first place to do that.
“If you are affected by every single opinion in life nowadays, with how easy you can read stuff about yourself, you are not going to be happy with whatever you do. You have to be able to deal with that. But obviously we can help to be able to deal with that.”
As the second anniversary of his Arsenal appointment approaches, Arteta, who still hasn’t hit 40, said learning to keep things in perspective and being selective about the opinions you heed, is key.
“I think you adapt, you learn and you try to put things in perspective,” he said.
“You can agree or disagree. I think criticism and opinion is really important, it makes you better and you have to listen to that, when it comes from the right place. And that’s all.
“You need to have the right people around you as well. For me, the key is where you put your focus. If you focus there [on the negative stuff] you’re going to be unhappy.”