Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Arteta warns football must do more to protect coaches

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.”

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Bryan afc

Hope this isnt an excuse if we loose tonight …mr arteta its amost two years now n u have learned much from pep ..get this team playing …as for bruce i felt for him .i hope the toons get relegated

Johnny 4 Hats

It would be so awesome to have a society full of perfect people who never say the wrong thing or behave poorly.  The only problem is, whenever humanity tries to create such a society, the level of state intervention in our lives becomes astronomical. We actually become less free.  Freedom of speech is messy and complicated and frustratingly unjust at times. But unless you are inciting violence on a person, you might have to be called ‘cabbage head’ a few times. It sucks. It’s wrong. We should condemn it. But we used to teach kids how to ignore idiots saying… Read more »


Cabbage Head is pretty devastating tbf

Johnny 4 Hats

I always thought he looked more like the crazy bird lady in Home Alone 2…


Well said. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but Bruce would have been called worse, much worse, on the football pitch. And he in turn would probably have dished out much much worse too. When Wrighty wanted a word with him in the tunnel at Old Trafford, it would have been because Bruce had probably called him something far less laughable than “Cabbage Head’ I’m not condoning any of it. But when you start taking the edge and banter out of football, your eliminating a big part of what makes it so enjoyable. We are in grave danger of being… Read more »


Whilst I agree for the most part, we also used to teach ourselves to say nothing if you haven’t got anything good to say. To be clear, I don’t count all criticism in that. To put myself in the shoes of a manager, I would hate to have to do my job whilst being abused. Even just called names or whatever, over long enough, is just hugely demoralising. You can argue it’s the price of being a public figure, for sure, but I do question the sanity of fans abusing people working for their own club. If I was doing… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I totally agree. It’s pathetic and counter productive and hurtful and just not a thing we would ever hope to see.

But we do have a pretty robust code of law that protects people. If you are being harassed or threatened or abused because of race, gender, disability or sexuality then you can prosecute.

This isn’t really a new problem and the geniuses that made British civil law an enviable system that was copied all over the world were pretty good at setting firm boundaries.


No offense, but British civil law was notably copied almost nowhere outside of former British colonies.
The Napoleonic Code was.

Johnny 4 Hats

Yup, a lot of influence from all manner of civilisations, dating right back to the Greeks. But the Magna Carta was the genesis for individual liberty in the western world.


The importance of the Magna Carta is quite overblown, even in England. It did virtually nothing at the time it was adopted – its chief aim was to prevent a war with the barons, which happened almost immediately – it was mostly ignored by King John, and was pretty much rediscovered later when it served as a handy argument for the English Constitution going way back. It’s not even particularly remarkable in the context of the 13th century – the one notable thing was that it applied the rights to all “freemen” rather than just nobility. But I would argue… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I know when I’m beat. I bow to your qualification and superior knowledge on this!

I guess my meta point to all this is that the western world, although the centre of a lot of criticism at present, still has things worth fighting to uphold.


You’re getting a lot of downvotes, but you’re fully correct. It remains the overwhelming consensus.

A Different George

I think English people are reluctant to look to the revolution and Civil War as a source of modern rights precisely because it was a revolution, which overthrew the monarchy and installed a republic. The alternative, orthodox, narrative stresses the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (the last “regime change” in English history). Certainly that is considered the source of the political thought of the American revolutionaries.


So basically you’re an immortal


Sorry, but saying nothing if you have nothing good to say is clearly terrible advice.

Nowadays, kids are taught to give constructive feedback and not ignore the negatives.

As for football fans, criticizing a manager’s tactics, in-game management, transfer and contract decisions or team selection is perfectly legitimate.

If we only said things if we had something good to say, this blog would have been a barren wasteland for most of last season.

And I completely agree on people at your club being called names.


He has a point

Takeshi Castle

Yes but we want 3 points!

Arsene's Champagne Football

Mikel is coming across as an eloquently intelligent guy. Unlike the people calling for his head.


People calling for his head might be going a bit too far, I’m not sure calling for his sacking is a gaolable offense though. Personally, I think he deserves a little time right now because he’s giving the youngsters a good run and trying a few things (some still questionable), but he really should still be under big pressure


Everybody stop calling him Lego Head


I mean, it is kinda stupid.

The Beast

Think he might be in on the Lego head joke. Wasn’t there some preseason video (ad? Not sure how to classify it) where he referenced it?

Though that could’ve just been a weird fever dream


Arteta calling out toon fans for giving Bruce a hard time? Conveniently forgetting Arsenal fans treatment of Wenger; someone who won them titles, cups and led them to European qualification consistently. I feel sorry for Bruce because he was kept on for so long when he should have gone a while ago. He was a poor appointment from the start, he used to manage Sunderland ffs so it was already doomed. We didn’t stay up for two seasons because of a tactical masterclass from Bruce, the other teams that finished below us had much poorer squads. Those saying he done… Read more »

Arsene's Champagne Football

>>Conveniently forgetting Arsenal fans treatment of Wenger; someone who won them titles, cups and led them to European qualification consistently.<<
hear, hear!

but apart from titles, cups, CL, new stadium, invincibles… what else has Arsene ever done for us, eh?


A good mate of mine is a toon fan, and he’s a top dude. Not some nasty arsehat. I have spoken to him at length about this and he puts it simply. No one is condoning the truly degenerate trollish shite that happens on social media, but as my mate put Bruce hasn’t been good enough – his strategy is give it to St Max and see what happens, Willock scores goals because he lets him be in forward places, the rest is just lump it to the big fuckers up front and hope for the best. So what? Managers… Read more »

Brady’s bunch

We all deserve to treated right but we all should expect to be dug out if we under perform at work also so it works both ways.


He needs to start delivering. NO work in progress bullshit. I would if I was the owners have a keen eye on Ten Haag (If we can even get him). Also Viera still needs to deliver as well but some good signs from him. Even if Arteta stays on for now, we should be getting better DoF than Edu. Club standards and ambition is very poor. It seeps into the squad as well where there is insufficient competition and an over emphasis on development. Midfield I wouold still go for a Neves or equivalent next summer (particularly with Xhaka past… Read more »


“…but I think it’s important that we take care a little bit of the environment and putting things in the right place.”

Quite Wengerian.

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