Abuse putting managers off – Arteta

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October 23, 2021
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    Steve Bruce was sacked by Newcastle on WednesdaySteve Bruce was sacked by Newcastle on Wednesday

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says managers are being put off taking jobs because of the sort of abuse suffered by Steve Bruce at Newcastle.

    Bruce left the club on Wednesday and, in an interview with the Telegraph,external-link detailed the strain put on him and his family during his two-year tenure.

    Arteta says current and prospective coaches have told him they are thinking twice about becoming managers.

    "Yes, a lot of people think like that," he said.

    Arteta, 39, added: "I heard a lot and I have a lot of friends who are doing the courses, who doubted whether they want to take the hot seat or whether it is better to be an assistant or something else.

    "For me, this cannot be the barrier, because you have fear about the treatment you are going to receive. I think the enjoyment as well is that big, that it should not stop you.

    "But it is important that we take care a little bit of the environment and putting things in the right place. If not, I don't think it will get better. I think it will get worse if we don't do anything about it."

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    Bruce's final game at Newcastle, a 3-2 defeat by Tottenham on Sunday, was his 1,000th as a manager, but the 60-year-old says that could be his last job.

    Arteta, who is at the other end of his managerial career, was asked whether prospective coaches have called him personally with their concerns.

    "Yes," he said. "And people who have been managers already, experienced managers, and they are thinking about not doing it again.

    "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."

    Arteta says bosses have to deal with criticism but, after Bruce said he was called "useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically-inept cabbage-head", improvements must be made.

    "I was really sad after reading that statement from Steve," said the Spaniard. "First of all, because I know him personally, and secondly, because of what he transmitted in his words.

    "You're talking about somebody who has been in the game for over 40 years as a player and as a manager.

    "He's managed over 1,000 games and he's telling you, with that experience, with that level of expertise that he has, that he struggles with that kind of situation, with that kind of abuse.

    "I think we have to reflect. We can't take for granted and accept certain things because they are how they are."

    Bruce an 'exceptional gentleman' – Guardiola

    'Sometimes managers are treated worse than the worst' – Guardiola on Bruce sacking

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    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola offered his support to Bruce and told him to ignore abusive comments on social media.

    Guardiola described Bruce as an "exceptional gentleman" and said he hoped to see the former Hull City and Aston Villa boss return to management.

    "I read the post on Twitter from [Allan] Saint-Maximin for what Steve Bruce is and this for me is what Steve Bruce is – an exceptional gentleman," said Guardiola.

    "He always took care of me so nicely when I came from Catalonia. I wish him all the best and I would tell him don't pay attention to the comments."

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    Guardiola added: "Steve Bruce and all the managers want to do all the best.

    "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and no-one deserves to be treated like that. But he has not to be worried, because the people who know him quite well, that is what is important.

    "I wish him to come back soon and I am pretty sure he will be back with an opportunity because he has the love for football in his blood."

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said the best advice he could give managers was to avoid social media, especially during "bad periods".

    "I think that's one of the most important skills in modern football as a manager is to not let criticism get too close to you, or just ignore it – that's what I do," said Klopp.

    "Never in my career have I felt it like Bruce felt it now, but that's the situation.

    "The world is like this. Everyone can say what they want, that's fine for me because I don't read it but if you read it then it might hurt."

    Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also asked about Bruce's comments following his departure from Newcastle, with the Norwegian responding that managers all have "our own ways of dealing with criticism".

    "We're in a high-profile position," said Solskjaer.

    "You're always going to get good comments, bad comments. You cannot let yourself be too affected.

    "Performances are sometimes not really bad, they're really good, but the results decide the narrative on what people would like to think about you.

    "I enjoy managing. I enjoy this life. I don't think any of us would be in this occupation if we didn't believe in ourselves, have a strong mindset but also love what we are doing."

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